Serbians are in mourning after a school shooting in Belgrade.

Serbians are in mourning after a school shooting in Belgrade.

Serbians are in mourning after a school shooting in Belgrade. Hundreds of students in Serbia, many of them dressed in black and holding flowers, gathered outside their schools on Thursday to pay their respects to the classmates who were slain the day before when a 13-year-old boy used his father’s guns in a school shooting rampage that sent shockwaves across the country and prompted new efforts to tighten gun control.

The students flooded in from all across Belgrade, filling the streets near the school in the city’s historic core. Earlier in the day, scores of people had gathered at the school site where eight students and a security officer had been killed on Wednesday morning to pay their respects by leaving flowers, candles, and toys.

Read more: Press freedom is in crisis in many nations.

Outside the school, people stood weeping and hugging in front of bouquets, stuffed animals, and soccer balls. A girl’s dancing shoes were hung from the school fence, and a gray and pink toy elephant was left there with notes of condolence.

Many people in the Balkan country are still processing everything that has transpired. This is the first school shooting in modern Serbia, despite the country’s abundance of weapons from its many wars in the 1990s.

As a result of decades of crises and conflicts, the chronic insecurity and instability they brought, and profound political divisions, the tragedy also triggered a debate about the overall state of the nation.

On Thursday, officials took steps to tighten gun regulation, with police urging the public to secure their firearms and keep them out of the reach of youngsters.

Guns belonging to the teen’s father were used in the attack, according to the police. The police stated on Wednesday that he had been planning the massacre for a month, during which time he had drawn diagrams of classrooms and compiled lists of the children he intended to kill.

Police claimed that on Wednesday, a young man who had gone to shooting ranges with his father and knew the combination to his safe stole two firearms and ammunition from the safe.

Police issued a statement urging gun owners to secure their weapons in a safe place, away from curious hands, and pointed out that new regulations would make it harder to obtain firearms permits.

Six pupils and one teacher were sent to the hospital Wednesday morning after the Vladislav Ribnikar primary school shooting. Doctors confirmed Thursday morning that one girl is in critical condition after being shot in the head, and another youngster is in serious condition after suffering spinal injuries.

Authorities have announced the launch of a support hotline to assist those struggling to come to terms with the tragedy. The hundreds of the injured collected blood. The start of three days of mourning is set for Friday.

Serbian teacher unions have called for demonstrations and strikes to demand reforms and raise awareness about a looming crisis in the country’s educational system. The government denied any wrongdoing, with some officials blaming Western influence rather than a widespread socioeconomic catastrophe at home.

Police have identified the shooter as Kosta Kecmanovic, although he has not explained the shooting.

Kecmanovic opened fire on the school’s security guard and three kids in the corridor immediately upon entering the building. After killing the history teacher, he turned his gun on the rest of the class.

Kecmanovic contacted the police after unloading the revolver in the schoolyard, even though a school administrator had previously notified them. According to police reports, Kecmanovic got and identified himself as a “psychopath who needs to calm down” to duty officers.

Seven students and the school’s security guard were slain. The foreign ministry of France confirmed that one of the girls was a French national.

Kecmanovic, according to the authorities, is too young to be charged and tried. His father was arrested on charges of threatening public safety after his son gained access to the weapons in the home.

There is probably guilt in all of us. Belgrade citizen Zoran Sefik said as much during Wednesday night’s vigil outside the school, “I think each of us has some responsibility that we let some things we should not allow (to happen). Another Belgrade local, Jovan Lazovic, was not shocked: “It was a matter of days before something like this could happen, considering what is happening in the world and here.”

Serbia and the rest of the Balkans are home to some of the highest rates of gun ownership per capita in all of Europe. Celebrations sometimes involve firing weapons into the air, and the cult of the warrior is central to the nation’s sense of itself. However, a Serbian war veteran shot and killed 13 people in a main Serbian village in 2013.

Experts have often voiced concerns about the prevalence of firearms in a deeply fractured country like Serbia, where war criminals are celebrated, and hate crimes against minorities frequently go unpunished. They also point out that persistent economic hardship and the instability that followed the conflicts of the 1990s could have a role in sparking similar eruptions.

“We have had too much violence for too long,” psychologist Zarko Trebjesanin said on N1 television. Children are great imitators. We have to do away with bad examples… and develop a new set of ideals.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Related Posts