Serbia Sees 2nd Mass Shooting in 2 Days

8 fatally shot in drive-by attack day after school shooting
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 5, 2023 12:30 AM CDT
Updated May 5, 2023 6:33 AM CDT
Serbia Sees 2nd Mass Shooting in 2 Days
People mourn the victims near Vladislav Ribnikar school in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, May 4, 2023.   (AP Photo/Armin Durgut)

A shooter killed at least eight people and wounded 13 in a drive-by attack late Thursday in Serbia's second such mass killing in two days, state television reported. The attacker shot randomly at people near the town of Mladenovac, some 30 miles south of the capital, RTS reported early Friday. Police were looking for a 21-year-old suspect who fled after the attack, the AP reports. The shooting came a day after a 13-year-old boy used his father’s guns to kill eight fellow students and a guard at a school in Belgrade.

The bloodshed sent shockwaves through a Balkan nation scarred by wars but unused to mass murders. Though Serbia is awash with weapons left over from the wars of the 1990s, mass shootings are extremely rare. Wednesday's school shooting was the first in the country's modern history. The last mass shooting before this week was in 2013, when a war veteran killed 13 people in a central Serbian village. Serbian Interior Minister Bratislav Gasic called Thursday's drive-by shootings “a terrorist act,” state media reported. Hundreds of special police and helicopter units, as well as ambulances, were sent to the area, which has been sealed off as police search for the attacker.

Earlier Thursday, Serbian students, many wearing black and carrying flowers, filled streets around the school in central Belgrade where Wednesday's mass shooting took place, as they paid silent homage to slain peers. Thousands laid flowers, lit candles, and left toys to commemorate the nine victims. The tragedy also sparked a debate about the general state of the nation following decades of crises and conflicts whose aftermath have created a state of permanent insecurity and instability, along with deep political divisions. Authorities on Thursday moved to boost gun control, as police urged citizens to lock up their guns and keep them away from children. (More Serbia stories.)

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