Teen made 'kill list' for Serbia school attack
Teen made 'kill list' for Serbia school attack
Police in Serbia have revealed that a teenage student who carried out a deadly attack at a school had meticulously planned the massacre for weeks and had compiled a list of targets. The attack, which occurred at a high school in the city of Novi Sad, left eight fellow students and a security guard dead.

On Wednesday morning, an assault took place at the Vladislav Ribnikar primary school in central Belgrade, leading to the arrest of a 13-year-old suspect.

During the shooting incident, a teacher and six students sustained injuries in addition to the suspect's attack.

According to the authorities, the motive behind the attack is currently under investigation by the police.

Shortly after 08:40 (06:40 GMT), the area surrounding the school, situated in the central Vracar neighbourhood, was cordoned off by police officers wearing helmets and bulletproof vests.

Police have identified the suspect in the shooting as Kosta Kecmanovic, who is believed to have used two firearms legally registered under his father's name. According to reports, he had accompanied his father to a shooting range on multiple occasions prior to the attack.

Following the incident, the suspect's parents have been taken into police custody.

President Aleksandar Vucic referred to the assault as "the most challenging day in the modern history of our nation" in a televised statement to the country.

The President announced that the suspect would be transferred to a psychiatric facility as he cannot be held accountable under current Serbian law due to being under the age of 14.

In the aftermath of the incident, President Vucic has hinted at the possibility of lowering the age of criminal responsibility to 12 years old.

Additionally, the President has put forth a number of other measures, such as conducting an audit of firearms permits and implementing stricter regulations on shooting range access.

According to the authorities, the suspect had meticulously planned the attack for a month, having compiled a "priority list" of specific students to target, as well as the order in which he intended to enter their classrooms.

The majority of those affected by the shooting were born in 2009, which implies that they were either 13 or 14 years old during the occurrence.

A national mourning period of three days will commence on Friday, as announced by the authorities.

The fatalities from the shooting incident include seven girls and one boy, while four boys and two girls were injured, according to official reports.

As per the official reports, a boy who sustained gunshot wounds in his neck and chest has been identified as having the most severe injuries. Additionally, a girl is said to be in critical condition due to a head injury.

Injuries sustained by the victims of the shooting included three boys with leg injuries, and a second girl who was shot in the abdomen and is now in stable condition, according to the latest reports.

According to the health minister, despite the medical team's best efforts, the victim is still fighting for her life after undergoing surgery.

The teacher who sustained injuries during the attack is currently undergoing surgery, and her condition is reported to be critical, with her life in danger, according to the health minister.

For several hours after the shooting, the sounds of weeping parents could be heard on the streets near the school.

Milan Milosevic, whose daughter attends the school, stated that she was in the classroom where the shooting took place but was able to escape unharmed.

According to Mr Milosevic, the boy initially targeted the teacher before opening fire indiscriminately, as he recounted to broadcaster N1.

"I saw the security guard hiding under a table, and noticed two girls with bloodstains on their shirts," said the witness. "The shooter was described as quiet and a good student. He had only recently joined their class."

According to a student who spoke with Serbian state broadcaster RTS, "I witnessed kids running out of the school, screaming, while parents arrived in panic. A few moments later, I heard three gunshots."

According to Mr Vucic, the suspect had developed a friendly relationship with the guard, who was well-liked by parents and described by one of them as "a great guy" and "someone who loved children."

While mass shootings are not common in Serbia, the country has a high rate of gun ownership despite having strict gun laws.

Following the wars and unrest in the 1990s, the western Balkans region has been affected by a proliferation of illegal weapons. According to a 2019 estimate, Serbia has 39.1 firearms per 100 people, making it one of the highest rates of gun ownership in Europe. The United States and Montenegro have the highest rates of gun ownership in the world.

In the past decade, Serbia has witnessed several deadly shootings. In 2013, Ljubisa Bogdanovic killed 14 people in the central village of Velika Ivanca, while in July 2007, Nikola Radosavljevic killed nine and wounded five in the eastern village of Jabukovac. These incidents remain among the deadliest shootings in the country's recent history.


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