Serbia: Suspect Arrested After 8 More Killed During 2nd Mass Shooting in 2 Days

MAGE SOURCE,REUTERS Security forces operate at a checkpoint during the aftermath of a shooting, in Dubona
- Advertisement -

A suspect has been arrested after eight people were killed and at least 14 injured in Serbia’s second mass shooting this week.

The gunman fired an automatic weapon from a moving vehicle near a village 60km (37 miles) south of Belgrade.

The interior ministry said the suspect was arrested after “an extensive search”.

It comes after a boy killed nine people at a Belgrade school on Wednesday, Serbia’s worst shooting in years.

Police announced the latest arrest around 08:40 local time (07:40 BST) on Friday. The suspect – who has only been identified by his initials UB – was detained near the city of Kragujevac, the interior ministry said.

The arrest followed an extensive manhunt, which local media reported involved over 600 police officers. Early on Friday morning, Serbian media said that special police forces had arrived at the villages of Mladenovac and Dubona, where the latest shooting occurred.

Photos from the scene showed police officers stopping cars at checkpoints as they tried to find the gunman. A helicopter, drones and multiple police patrols were also used.

Reports on local media say the suspect – who the interior ministry said was born in 2002 – started firing at people with an automatic weapon after having an argument with a police officer in a park in Dubona on Thursday evening.

Milan Prokić, a Dubona resident, told Radio Belgrade 1 he heard shots near his house: “It’s sad, regrettable, we locked ourselves in our home so [the shots] wouldn’t come to us.”

The man is then said to have proceeded to shoot people from a car, killing at least eight people and wounding many more.

All injured people admitted to hospital were born after the year 2000, Serbian broadcaster RTS has reported.

Two people aged 21 and 23 were operated on, but remain in critical condition.

The minister of health, Danica Grujičić, and the head of the Security Intelligence Agency, Aleksandar Vulin, reportedly travelled to the area in the early hours of Friday.

On Wednesday, a thirteen-year-old boy shot dead eight fellow pupils at his school in Belgrade, as well as a security guard. It prompted the Serbian government to propose tighter restrictions of gun ownership.

NBA basketball player Luka Doncic said he would pay for the funerals of all nine people killed in Wednesday’s shooting, and for grief counselling for classmates and staff.

Mass shootings are extremely rare in Serbia, which has very strict gun laws, but gun ownership in the country is among the highest in Europe.

The western Balkans are awash with illegal weapons following wars and unrest in the 1990s. In 2019, it was estimated that there are 39.1 firearms per 100 people in Serbia – the third highest in the world, behind the US and Montenegro.

- Advertisement -