8 Killed in Shootings in Serbia, The Day After School Massacre That Killed 9

Eight people were killed and 13 others injured late Thursday near Belgrade, Serbia, in the country's second mass shooting in as many days, according to Serbian media.

Police are looking for a 21-year-old male suspect, according to RTS, Serbia's public broadcaster. They issued warrants for the attacker and surrounded the area where they believed he was hiding, the report said.

The shooting occurred at 11 p.m. local time, Serbia's Interior Ministry told CNN. The gunman used an automatic weapon from a moving vehicle near Mladenovac, a town south of the capital, and fled the scene after the attack, RTS said.

Serbia's Interior Minister, Bratislav Gasic, called the shooting a “terrorist act,” RTS reported.

Eight seriously injured people were transported to an emergency center, the broadcaster said. Police units and helicopters were dispatched for the manhunt, and emergency vehicles were dispatched to Mladenovac.

Serbian authorities did not provide details on a motive for the shooting, according to N1, a Serbian cable news channel.

The shooting came a day after a seventh grader armed with a pistol and Molotov cocktails shot dead eight children and a security guard at his school in Belgrade, plunging the Serbian capital into grief and shocking the entire country.

Serbian police reported several other incidents involving children with weapons or plotting attacks on Thursday, RTS reported. In Obrenovac, a city southwest of Belgrade, they said a student brandished a plastic gun after a minute's silence for the victims of the earlier shooting. In Belgrade, a 9-year-old is said to have created a “shoot list” modeled after Wednesday's massacre. In Kaludjerica, southeast of Belgrade, police said they discovered a student's plot to carry out a mass shooting. At another school in Belgrade, RTS reported, a former student injured a student and a teacher with knives.

Serbia has historically had high rates of gun ownership compared to other countries – due to its recent history of armed conflict and cultural traditions of gun ownership – but has not had high rates of gun violence, according to October 2022 report by the Flemish Peace Institutean independent research group.

But Serbia has experienced several mass shootings in recent years: In 2016, a man killed five people in a cafe in northern Serbia. In 2015, a man kills four people after his son's wedding, including his wife, his new daughter-in-law, and his parents. In 2013, a 60-year-old Balkan war veteran killed 13 people, including relatives and neighbours, in the village of Velika Ivanca near Belgrade. And, in July 2007, a 38-year-old man killed nine passers-by on a road in the village of Jabukovac in eastern Serbia.

This is an evolving story. It will be updated.

Matej Leskovsek translation contribution.