School shooting in Serbia leaves 8 children dead

A 14-year-old boy opened fire in his Belgrade classroom on Wednesday morning, shooting dead eight fellow pupils and a security guard in a pre-planned attack and wounding seven others, Serbian officials said, News.Az reports citing Reuters. 

Using his father's handgun, the boy fired first at the security guard and three girls in the hallway and then entered a history class and shot at the teacher and classmates, police said. The teacher and six pupils were hospitalised, some with life-threatening injuries.

Police said a seventh-grade student had been arrested in the schoolyard after calling the police and confessing to the shooting. An investigation into his motives was under way.

Veselin Milic, head of Belgrade police, said the attacker had two guns and two petrol bombs and had pre-planned everything. "He even had ... names of children he wanted to kill and their classes," he told a press conference.

Officers in helmets and bulletproof vests cordoned off the area around the school. Bodies were carried out and put into funeral vehicles.

Evgenija, 14, said she knew the shooter.

"He was somehow silent, and appeared nice and had good grades. Did not know much about him, he was not that open to everyone. I would never expect that this could happen," she told Reuters.

"I heard noises and I thought some boys, some kids were throwing firecrackers, just for the fun of it, but then I heard that even closer and ... then I saw the security guard falling to the ground," she said, adding that she then ran away.

The interior ministry said eight children and a security guard had been killed and six children had been hospitalised along with the teacher. Interior Minister Bratislav Gasic said that the father of the shooter had also been arrested.


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