Serbia: Teen shoots dead eight children and security guard at school

A 14-year-old boy opened fire on his teacher and other students in the school in Belgrade
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

12.14 3 May 2023

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Serbia: Teen shoots dead eight...

Serbia: Teen shoots dead eight children and security guard at school

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

12.14 3 May 2023

Share this article

Eight children and a security guard have been killed after a 14-year-old boy allegedly opened fire on his teacher and other students in a school shooting in Serbia.

The student used his father's gun for the attack at the Vladislav Ribnikar elementary school in the capital Belgrade, police said.

Milan Nedeljkovic, mayor of the central Vracar district where the school is located, said the teacher is fighting for their life after being shot.


Six children who were injured are also being treated.

The Irish embassy in Greece, which is also accredited to Serbia, said it was "deeply saddened to learn of the tragic incident" at the school.

Sinisa Ducic, the acting director of a paediatric clinic in Belgrade treating three of the victims, said one girl has a "serious" head injury and was undergoing surgery.

The suspect has been arrested with local media footage showing his head covered as officers led him to a car parked nearby.

Police have identified him only by his initials 'KK' and said he was arrested in the schoolyard.

An investigation into the motive behind shooting is under way.

Officers in helmets and bulletproof vests have cordoned off the area after the shooting at around 8:40am local time (7:40am Irish time).

'Shooting without stopping'

Reports in Serbia say parents arrived at the school trying to find their children.

A student who witnessed part of the shooting has said she used to be in the same class as the suspect.

She said: "He was a quiet guy, he looked nice, he had good grades, but we didn't know much about him.

"He was not so open with everybody. Definitely I wasn't expecting this to happen."

Speaking about what she witnessed as the shooting unfolded, she said: "I was downstairs, we had sports class downstairs, I was able to hear the shooting.

"It was non-stop, it was not like one shot at the time, it was shooting without stopping.

"I didn't know what was happening, we were receiving some messages on the phone. Some kids from 7th grade second class were not replying, so we were in real fear."

Milan Milosevic said his daughter was in the classroom where the shooting began.

He told broadcaster N1: "She managed to escape. [The boy] ...first shot the teacher and then he started shooting randomly."

He added: "I saw the security guard lying under the table. I saw two girls with blood on their shirts. They say he [the shooter] was quiet and a good pupil. He recently joined their class."

Mass shootings are comparatively rare in Serbia, which has very strict gun laws.

However the western Balkans are awash with hundreds of thousands of illegal weapons following wars and unrest in the 1990s.

Serbian authorities have issued several amnesties for owners to hand in or register illegal guns.

In the last mass shooting in 2013, a Balkan war veteran killed 13 people in a central Serbian village.

Reporting by: IRN

Main image: File photo shows Serbian policemen in Belgrade in September 2019. Picture by: Jerome Cid / Alamy Stock Photo

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