Suspect arrested after second mass shooting in Serbia

belgrade – Serbian police said early Friday morning that they had arrested a suspect in a series of shootings in which at least eight people were killed and 14 injured.

In a statement, police said the man, identified by the initials UB, was arrested near the central Serbian town of Kragujevac, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) south of Belgrade.

The shooting happened the day after a 13-year-old boy Killed 8 fellow students using his father’s gun A security guard at a school in Belgrade.

The bloodshed sent shockwaves through the war-torn Balkans, but they were no stranger to genocide.

Friday’s arrests followed an all-night search by hundreds of police who cordoned off an area south of Belgrade where the shooting took place late Thursday.

Attackers randomly shot people in three villages near Mladenovac, about 50 kilometers south of the capital, state broadcaster RTS said.

“I heard a tac-tac-tac,” recalled Milan Plokic, who lives in Dubona, a village near the town of Mladenovac. Prokic said at first he thought villagers were shooting guns to celebrate the birth, similar to tradition in Serbia and the Balkans.

“But it wasn’t. It’s a shame, very disappointing,” Plocic added.

Serbian Interior Minister Bratislav Gasic called Thursday’s shooting an “act of terror,” according to state media.

Prior to the second mass shooting, Serbia spent much of Thursday staggering after its first mass shooting in a decade. In the streets around the school in central Belgrade, dozens of students dressed in black and holding flowers offered a moment of silence for their slain classmate. The Serbian teachers’ union has announced protests and strikes, warning of a crisis in the school system and demanding change.

On the same day, authorities moved to tighten gun control, with police urging citizens to lock their guns and keep them away from children. ordered stricter control of those who were in prison, and harsher penalties for those who enabled minors to acquire guns.

Gun owners registered in Serbia must be at least 18 years of age, in good health, and have no criminal record. Weapons must be locked separately from ammunition.

Although Serbia full of weapons The Wednesday school shooting, a remnant of the wars of the 1990s, was the first in the country’s modern history.The last mass shooting before this week was his in 2013, when a veteran killed 13 people In a village in central Serbia.

Seven people were hospitalized and six children and a teacher died in the Wednesday morning shooting at Vladislav Rib Nikar primary school. has a serious spinal cord injury, doctors said Thursday morning.

Authorities say the shooter, whom police have identified as Kosta Kecimanovic, is too young to be charged and tried. He was put in a mental hospital and his father was detained on suspicion of threatening public safety because his son had obtained a gun.

Gun culture is widespread in Serbia and other parts of the Balkans. This region has one of the highest number of guns per capita in Europe. Guns are often fired into the air at celebrations, and the cult of warriors is part of national identity.

Experts have repeatedly warned of the dangers the arsenal of weapons poses in a deeply divided country, where convicted war criminals are celebrated and violence against minority groups often goes unpunished. They also note that decades of instability stemming from the conflicts of the 1990s and ongoing economic hardships could trigger such an explosion.

Dragan Popadic, a professor of psychology at the University of Belgrade, told The Associated Press that the school shooting exposed the level of violence that exists in society and caused a deep shock.

“People are suddenly swayed by reality, the ocean of violence we live in, how it has grown over time and how our society has been neglected for decades.” It’s like a flashlight has been turned on and I can no longer think only of myself.”


AP journalist Sabina Niksic contributed from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

https://www.local10.com/news/world/2023/05/05/8-fatally-shot-in-serbian-town-day-after-9-killed-at-school/ Suspect arrested after second mass shooting in Serbia

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