A 14-year-old boy has been arrested for a shooting at a school in the Serbian capital of Belgrade on Wednesday morning that left at least nine dead and several more seriously injured.
Police were dispatched to Vladislav Ribnikar in central Belgrade shortly after 8:40 a.m. amid reports of a mass shooting by a pupil.
A statement by the Serbian interior ministry confirmed at least eight fellow pupils and a security guard were murdered in the attack. The suspect, who reportedly used his father’s gun to carry out the shooting, has been identified only as K.K.
Two 13-year-old boys and one girl who sustained gun wounds in the attack have been hospitalized. It is understood the girl was shot in the head and is due to undergo emergency surgery. Six students and one teacher were seriously injured in the attack.
Armed police have cordoned off the crime scene in the Vračar district of the Serbian capital, and a full police investigation is now underway.
“We are intensively working to shed light on all the facts and circumstances that led to this tragedy,” a police statement read.
“The police sent all available patrols immediately to the spot and arrested a suspected minor — a seventh-grade student who is suspected of firing several shots from his father’s gun in the direction of students and school security,” stated the Serbian interior ministry.
“He started shooting randomly; he was holding two cartridges in his hands. I laid down on top of two of our friends so that he would think I was dead too,” one girl caught up in the shooting told Serbia’s N1 broadcaster.
“I saw kids running out from the school, screaming. Parents came, they were in a panic. Later I heard three shots,” another student told Serbian state broadcaster RTS.
Concerned parents who have not yet located their children have been asked to report to the Vračar police station.
Education Minister Branko Ružić and Health Minister Danica Grujičić arrived at the scene of the shooting at lunchtime on Wednesday, and an emergency government press conference is scheduled for later this afternoon.