‘The Tragedy of a Society’
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A teenage boy shot and killed eight children and a security guard at a school in the Serbian capital Wednesday, an incident that has rocked the Balkan nation where school shootings are extremely rare, CNN reported.
Serbia’s Interior Ministry said the unnamed 13-year-old boy opened fire at the Vladislav Ribnikar Elementary School in Belgrade, where he also injured six other children and one teacher.
As the age of criminal responsibility in Serbia is 14 prosecutors said they may not be able to prosecute the suspect, the BBC reported, but his parents were also arrested and his father is charged with offenses against general security.
It added that the alleged attacker used his father’s gun. Police apprehended the young shooter after the shooting. Officials have not provided a motive for the attack, but said the boy had drawn up a list of targets almost a month before the attack.
Mass shootings in Serbia and the Balkan region are very rare, with none reported at schools in recent years, wrote NBC News.
Officials said, meanwhile, that Serbia has a high level of gun ownership following its war with Kosovo in the late 1990s. In 2018, a report found that the country has the third highest level of gun ownership in the world.
Even so, Serbia maintains stringent firearms regulations and has implemented amnesties for gun owners to surrender or register illegal weapons.