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Belgrade shooting: Teen killed students and security guard in Serbia school attack


On Wednesday morning, a 13-year-old boy opened fire at a school in the Serbian capital, Belgrade, killing eight children and one security guard and seriously injuring several others. The boy, who was a student at Vladislav Ribnikar Elementary School, allegedly sketched out the attack in advance on crumpled pieces of paper. He then called the police himself after the shootings.


The suspect brought two guns from home, which were locked up in a safe with a code. He managed to get hold of those two guns and three frames full of 15 bullets each. The boy had a 9mm pistol and a small caliber pistol in a bag, as well as four Molotov cocktails. Officials said the shooting was premeditated, and displayed sheets of paper that allegedly showed the suspect’s plans for the attack.


The suspect's father and mother were also arrested, and it was known that the father had previously visited a shooting range with his son, whose age was first given as 14. The prosecutor’s office said the father was ordered to be detained for up to 48 hours on suspicion of having committed the criminal offense of Serious Offenses against General Security.


The 13-year-old suspect would be placed in a special psychiatric institution, and Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic said the shooting suspect did not show remorse. The prosecutor’s office said that the boy’s blood was taken for toxicological analysis to determine whether he was under the influence of alcohol, narcotics, or other psychoactive substances at the time of the shooting.


The rare and possibly unprecedented event, in a nation with strict firearms laws yet high levels of gun ownership, sent shockwaves through the local community and beyond. As the country reels from the shooting, Serbian President Vucic suggested at a press conference on Wednesday that the government should consider lowering the country’s age of criminal responsibility. The current law on juvenile offenders states that minors must be at least 14 years old to be criminally charged, with Vucic suggesting the age should be lowered to 12.


Parents struggled to come to terms with the shooting, and many were still trying to calm their children who had witnessed the traumatic event. The wounded were being administered medical care, while the police worked to establish the facts and circumstances that led to this tragedy.

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