A teenage boy in Serbia, Belgrade opened fire in a school just after lessons began on Wednesday morning. Eight children and a security guard were killed and several others were injured. Serbia is known to have a large supply of guns and high levels of gun ownership but mass shootings like these are rare.


The incident happened at Vladislav Ribnikar Elementary school, a well known institution in Vracar, an upscale area of the Serbian capital.


The suspect is alleged to have used his father’s guns, both of which had legal permits. He is also said to have gone to a shooting range more than once with his father before the killings. The boy’s mother and father have since been arrested. The 13-year-old was also arrested and the motive for the attack is still being investigated.


In a televised address to the country, President Aleksandra Vucic described the attack as “the most difficult day in the modern history of our country”.

He said the suspect would be sent to a psychiatric clinic. Under current Serbian law he cannot be held criminally responsible as he is under 14.


Mr. Vucic has suggested that the age of criminal liability may be lowered to 12 in the wake of the killings.

He has also proposed several other reforms, including an audit on firearms licenses and a tightening of the rules around who can access shooting ranges.


Police say the suspect planned the attack a month in advance and that he had carried a “priority list” of children to target and which classrooms he would go into first.

Most of the victims were born in 2009 – meaning they were either 13 or 14 at the time of the incident.

May 4, 2023

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