A suspect has been arrested by the police after a mass shooting in Serbia, which resulted in eight deaths and 14 injuries and has been labeled a “terrorist attack” by the country’s President, Aleksandar Vucic. The shooting happened in Dubona, 26 miles south of Belgrade, just as Serbians were beginning three days of mourning for another mass shooting on Wednesday in which a 13-year-old boy killed nine people and injured seven others.
The suspect in Thursday’s shooting had been involved in a disagreement in a school yard, after which he left and returned with an assault rifle and a handgun, opening fire at random from a moving car. He then fired at people in two other nearby villages before fleeing, according to the authorities. Police later found him hiding in his grandfather’s house, along with hand grenades, an automatic rifle, and ammunition. The suspect’s grandfather and uncle were also arrested.
The President has proposed a moratorium on gun permits for all types of weapons and more frequent mandatory medical and psychological checks for gun owners, as well as the hiring of 1,200 new police officers to improve school security. The government has also approved his proposal.
Although Serbia has strict gun control laws, the country has an entrenched gun culture, especially in rural areas, and remains awash with military-grade weapons and ordnance left in private hands after the wars of the 1990s.
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