On Wednesday, May 3, a gunman opened fire in an elementary school in Serbia, killing a security guard and eight students, and injuring six more children and a teacher. The shooting occurred at the Vladislav RIbnikar elementary school in Belgrade at around 8.40am. The shooter was identified by his initials, K.K., and was a student at the school in central Belgrade. He was arrested in the schoolyard with his father’s gun.
Mass shootings are rare in Serbia, which has strict gun laws, but the western Balkans have hundreds of thousands of illegal weapons in circulation following wars and unrest in the 1990s. Authorities have issued amnesties for owners to hand in or register illegal guns.
The incident has prompted calls for greater gun control in the country. Serbia’s Prime Minister Ana Brnabic stated that “we will continue to work towards removing illegal weapons from society and protecting citizens.” The president of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, declared three days of mourning, and the government held a moment of silence.
The motives behind the shooting are still being investigated. The suspect, K.K., is a minor, born in 2009, and thus under the age of criminal responsibility in Serbia. He is currently being held in a juvenile detention center. The wounded are receiving medical care, while the police work to establish the facts and circumstances that led to the incident.
The shooting has sparked outrage and grief across Serbia, with citizens and officials expressing their condolences to the families of the victims. The tragedy serves as a reminder of the need for gun control measures and the importance of addressing the issue of illegal weapons in society.