By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
BELGRADE (Worthy News) – Serbia plunged into three days of mourning Thursday after authorities revealed that a 13-year-old boy had shot and killed eight fellow pupils and a security guard at his school in Belgrade.
Kosta Kecmanović, who studied at the Vladislav Ribnikar school in the center of the Serbian capital since 2019, also injured six other pupils and his teacher.
As he is under 14, a year younger than previously reported, Kecmanović can’t face criminal charges, the Belgrade prosecutor’s office said. He will be placed in a psychiatric institution. His parents have also been arrested, according to authorities.
Veselin Milic, head of Belgrade police, said the attacker had two guns and two petrol bombs and had planned his attack carefully. “He even had the names of children he wanted to kill and their classes,” he told a press conference.
The suspect, arrested in the school playground after confessing to the shooting and led away with his head covered, fired first at the security guard and three girls in a hallway, then walked into a history class and shot the teacher and five pupils, Milić said.
Milić identified the dead pupils as seven girls and a boy born between 2009 and 2011. “The sketch looks like something from a video game or a horror movie, which indicates that he planned in detail, by classes, whom to liquidate,” he added.
“The father claimed the arms were locked in a safe with a code, but apparently the kid had the code,” added Serbia’s interior minister, Bratislav Gašić. “He took the pistols and three magazines with 15 bullets each.”
Gun ownership is widespread in Serbia, which has witnessed several mass shootings over the past decade, and President Aleksandar Vucic said checks would be stepped up.
As Serbia mourned, Vucic announced a moratorium on new gun licenses other than for hunting, revision of existing permits, and surveillance of shooting ranges and how civilians store their weapons.
Wednesday’s school shooting was the worst in Serbia’s recent memory.
The Balkan country, which seeks to join the European Union, is still a wounded nation after previous involvement in the Balkan wars of the 1990s that led to the breakup of Yugoslavia.
Parents were earlier seen trying to comfort the children who escaped the blood bath.
And prayers were expected in this heavily Orthodox nation.
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