Police: Serbia School Shooter Had List of Names

The suspect's father has also been arrested
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 3, 2023 9:20 AM CDT
Police: Serbia School Shooter Had List of Names
Children wait in front of the Vladislav Ribnikar school after a shooting in Belgrade, Serbia, on Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

A 13-year-old who opened fire Wednesday at his school in Serbia's capital drew sketches of classrooms and wrote a list of people he intended to "liquidate" in a meticulously planned attack, police said. He killed eight fellow students and a school guard before being arrested. The shooter first killed a guard at the school in central Belgrade and then three students in a hallway, according to senior police official Veselin Milic. He then entered a history classroom—apparently choosing it simply because it was close to the entrance—and opened fire again, Milic said.

The assailant called police himself when the attack was over, though authorities received a call reporting the shooting two minutes earlier, reports the AP. Police identified the shooter as Kosta Kecmanovic, who attended the Vladislav Ribnikar school, where students would typically range in age from 6 to 15. Kecmanovic carried two guns belonging to his father—at least one a handgun—and four Molotov cocktails, officials said. Interior Minister Bratislav Gasic said the weapons were licensed and kept in a safe, but that the teen, who'd been to shooting ranges, apparently knew the code. The father was also arrested.

Mass shootings are extremely rare in Serbia and in the wider Balkan region; none were reported at schools in recent years. In the last mass shooting, a Balkan war veteran in 2013 killed 13 people in a central Serbian village. Experts, however, have repeatedly warned of the danger posed by the large number of weapons in the country after the wars of the 1990s. They also note that decades of instability stemming from the conflicts, as well as ongoing economic hardship, could trigger such outbursts. Authorities declared three days of nationwide mourning, starting Friday.

(More school shooting stories.)

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