Serbia’s Mass Shooting: Suspect Arrested in 2 Days

A shooter struck three Serbian towns, killing eight people and injuring 14, jolting a country still reeling from a major massacre a day earlier.

(Photo credit: AP)

According to officials and the media, a shooter struck three Serbian towns, killing eight people and injuring 14, jolting a country still reeling from a major massacre a day earlier. Following a nightlong manhunt, police made an arrest on Friday.

The second shooting occurred on Thursday, one day after a 13-year-old boy shot and killed eight other pupils and a guard at a school in Belgrade, the country’s capital, using his father’s weapons.

A Balkan nation ravaged by wars but unused to mass killings, the violence shocked the region. Despite the abundance of weaponry left over from the 1990s wars in Serbia, the shooting on Wednesday was the first at a school in the nation’s contemporary history.

Before this week, there hadn’t been a mass shooting since 2013, when a war veteran massacred 13 people in a village in the middle of Serbia.

According to official television RTS, an assailant opened fire late on Thursday in three towns close to Mladenovac, around 50 kilometres (30 miles) south of the city.

A suspect with the initials U.B. was reportedly detained close to Kragujevac, a town in central Serbia, around 100 kilometres (60 miles) south of Belgrade.

A picture of the suspect in a police car, taken by the authorities, shows a young man wearing a blue T-shirt with an inscription and a map of a portion of Europe.

Bratislav Gasic, Serbia’s interior minister, referred to the shootings as “a terrorist act,” according to official media.

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(Photo credit: AP)

Prior to the second shooting, Serbia had a difficult Thursday. As they paid solemn respect to their fallen classmates, students flooded the streets surrounding the school in central Belgrade, many bearing flowers and dressed all in black. In order to draw attention to a problem in the educational system and demand improvements, Serbian teachers’ organisations organised protests and strikes.

Authorities increased gun restrictions on the same day that police advised people to put up their weapons and keep them out of the reach of youngsters. Short-barrel firearms are prohibited for two years, and those who help minors get firearms face harsher penalties.

According to Serbian legislation, a registered gun owner must be older than 18 and in good health, without any felony convictions. Ammunition must be stored apart from weapons and locked up.

Seven persons, including a teacher and six students, were hospitalised as a result of the shooting at the Vladislav Ribnikar school on Wednesday. According to physicians, a child with spinal injuries are in severe condition, and a girl who was shot in the head is still in a life-threatening state.

Kosta Kecmanovic has been named as the gunman by the authorities, who claim he is too young to be prosecuted and put on trial. His father has been held on suspicion of harming public security, and he has been admitted to a mental health facility.

(Photo credit: AP)

In Serbia and the rest of the Balkans, owning a gun is commonplace; Serbia has one of the highest per-capita handgun populations in the world. Additionally, at local festivals, guns are frequently fired into the air.

In Serbia, a deeply divided nation where war criminals are regularly celebrated and violence against minority groups frequently goes unpunished, experts have repeatedly expressed concern about the threat presented by the large number of guns in the country. They also point out that persistent economic hardship and decades of instability brought on by the events of the 1990s might lead to similar eruptions.

The school massacre has highlighted the amount of violence existent in society, according to Dragan Popadic, a psychology professor at Belgrade University, and has produced a profound shock.

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