Vucic: Serbian Authorities to Place School Shooter in Special Psychiatric Unit

Policeman stands in front of the Ribnikar school in Belgrade, Serbia, Wednesday, May 3, 2023. Police say a 13-year-old who opened fire at his school drew sketches of classrooms and made a list of people he intended to target. He killed eight fellow students and a school guard before being arrested Wednesday.InternationalIndiaAfricaBELGRADE (Sputnik) – A 14-year-old shooter responsible for the death of nine people in a school in Belgrade will be placed in a special unit of a psychiatric clinic, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Wednesday. The Serbian police said earlier in the day it had arrested the 14-year-old shooter, who had used his father’s gun to commit the crime. The shooting took place in a school in the Vrachar municipality in the center of the Serbian capital. Eight children and a guard were killed, while another six children and a teacher were wounded and transferred to an ambulance center and a children’s hospital.

"Today is one of the most difficult days in the modern history of our country," Vucic said in his address to the nation. "The boy is currently in a separate place and will be placed in a special unit of a neuropsychiatric hospital. His father as a gun owner, who wrongly stored the gun, despite having all the necessary papers, has been arrested, his mother has been summoned by the police as well."

The seventh-grader arrested for the shooting is thought to have been under the influence of drugs. He reportedly planned the attack a month in advance. The police said he had a plan of the school building and a list of students he intended to kill. Interior Minister Bratislav Gasic said on Wednesday that the father of the perpetrator had been arrested. He is reported to be the legal owner of the two pistols that were discovered on the shooter by the police, one as the weapon of the crime, the other in his backpack. The shooter also had three loading clips and several Molotov cocktails, which he never got the chance to use, media said. Later in the day, the Serbian government declared a nationwide three-day mourning period starting May 5 for the victims of the school shooting, with Serbian Education Minister Branko Ruzic calling the shooting “the greatest tragedy that has ever happened in Serbia and in our educational system in recent history.” A French student was among the victims of Wednesday’s school shooting in Belgrade, the French Foreign Ministry said in a communique on Wednesday. The ministry expressed condolences to the families of the victims and noted the French Embassy in Belgrade is supporting the family of the killed French national. A Sputnik correspondent reported on Wednesday that people were laying flowers and lighting candles at the entry to the school in the Vrachar municipality in Belgrade to honor the victims of the deadly school shooting. © AP Photo / Armin DurgutPeople hold candles for the victims near the Vladislav Ribnikar school in Belgrade, Serbia, Wednesday, May 3, 2023. Police say a 13-year-old who opened fire at his school drew sketches of classrooms and made a list of people he intended to target. He killed eight fellow students and a school guard before being arrested.People hold candles for the victims near the Vladislav Ribnikar school in Belgrade, Serbia, Wednesday, May 3, 2023. Police say a 13-year-old who opened fire at his school drew sketches of classrooms and made a list of people he intended to target. He killed eight fellow students and a school guard before being arrested.A police officer at one of the entrances was telling those arriving that another place had been arranged for them on the other side of the building. In the evening, the number of people gathering to commemorate the victims continued to grow, and the police blocked the adjacent streets so that people could approach the school. The majority of those who came were young people; the crowd was quiet, and many crossed and gave way to each other to lay flowers. At 8:00 p.m. local time (16:00 GMT), people working in the sphere of education and citizens also gathered via social media at Cvetni trg (Flower Square) to light candles and lay flowers; some of them were carrying toys. More senior citizens and their families started to come an hour later, and the number of people at the square was growing.

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