Authorities in Serbia have arrested a suspected gunman who killed eight people and injured 13 others near the capital Belgrade on Thursday night, May 4.
The killing comes a day after a 13-year-old boy went on a killing spree at his school in the country.
The suspect, identified only by his initials U.B. was arrested near the central town of Kragujevac, 60 miles south of Belgrade, following an all-night search by around 600 police officers.
The gunman allegedly opened fire in a schoolyard before continuing to shoot people at random across three villages while in a moving car, local media report.
An off-duty policeman and his sister were among those killed in the mass shooting near the town of Mladenovac, 26 miles south of Belgrade, late on Thursday, reports state broadcaster RTS.
The mass shooting comes just days after the worst school shooting in Serbia’s recent history, after Kosta Kecmanovic, 13, shot dead nine people, including eight fellow students, and injured seven at a school in Belgrade before turning himself in on Wednesday.
In the latest shooting, the suspect was involved in an altercation in a school yard on Thursday and left but then returned with an assault rifle and a handgun, local media report.
The suspect opened fire and continued to shoot his victims at random one by one through three villages near the town of Mladenovac, 30 miles south of Belgrade, late on Thursday.
One man in the village of Dubona said he heard gunshots late last night and came out of his home.
‘I felt the smell of gunpowder. I heard noise from the direction of school. We saw people lying on the ground,’ said the man, who refused to give his name because he feared for his safety.
‘This is terrible for our state, this is a huge defeat. In two days so many … killed,’ said Ivan, a Dubona resident.
Worried relatives gathered outside the emergency medical centre in Belgrade, where at least eight injured people were hospitalised, N1 television reported.
Around 600 Serbian police, including elite Special Antiterrorist Unit (SAJ) and Gendarmerie launched a manhunt following the shooting, setting up roadblocks around the villages.
Following the all-night manhunt, officers arrested the suspect in the town of Kragujevac.
Interior Minister Bratislav Gasic called the shooting a ‘terrorist act’, RTS reported.
The Balkan nation begins three days of official mourning on Friday following its first mass school shooting on Wednesday.
Kosta Kecmanovic, 13, confessed to opening fire on his screaming classmates inside their classroom in the Vladislav Ribnikar Elementary School, killing seven girls and a boy – all below the age of 14.
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