At least nine people have been killed after a teenager opened fire at a primary school in Serbia. A security guard and eight students were killed after a shooting at a school in Belgrade on Wednesday morning. Six more children and a teacher were injured.
The suspect opened fire at the Vladislav RIbnikar Elementary School around 8:40 am Officers wearing helmets and bulletproof vests cordoned off the area around where the shooting occurred.
Police identified the shooter by his initials, KK, and said he had opened fire with his father’s gun. He was arrested in the schoolyard, police said. A statement identified him as a student at the school in central Belgrade who was born in 2009.
“I saw the children running out of the school, screaming. The parents came, they were in a panic. Later I heard three shots,” a girl who attends a secondary school adjacent to Vladislav Ribnikar told state television RTS.
The victims are being treated and an investigation is underway into the motives for the shooting, police said in a statement, without elaborating.
Mass shootings are comparatively rare in Serbia, which has very strict gun laws, but the western Balkans are awash with hundreds of thousands of illegal weapons following wars and riots in the 1990s.
Serbian authorities have issued several amnesties for owners to turn in or register illegal weapons. Police said all available police patrols in the area have been dispatched to the scene.
“All available police patrols were dispatched to the scene, where they immediately proceeded to the school grounds and apprehended a minor, a seventh grade student who is suspected of having fired multiple times with his father’s gun at the students and to the school security guard,” the statement said. the Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs said in a statement.
“The injured are receiving medical attention, while the police work to establish the facts and circumstances that led to this incident,” the ministry statement said.
Local media footage of the scene showed commotion outside the school as police removed the suspect, whose head was covered as officers led him to a parked car on the street.
Milan Milosevic, the father of one of the students at Vladislav Ribnikar Elementary School, said his daughter was in the classroom when the shooting began.
“He managed to escape. (The boy) … first shot at the teacher and then he started shooting randomly,” Milosevic told broadcaster N1. Nova TV, another station, said the teacher had died.