A 13-year-old boy opened fire at his school in Serbia on Wednesday, killing a security guard and eight classmates and wounding six other students and a teacher, officials say.
Kosta Kecmanovic, a seventh-grade student at Vladislav Ribnikar School, was arrested following a deadly attack police say was meticulously planned, complete with a list of victims the suspect intended to target, The Associated Press reported. Kecmanovic allegedly began his shooting spree by first killing the guard at the Belgrade school and then opening fire in a classroom located near the school entrance, the outlet stated.
— Reuters (@Reuters) May 3, 2023
Milan Milosevic, whose daughter was in a history class during the shooting, told local reporters she witnessed Kecmanovic firing at the teacher first before the children ducked under their desks, AP reported. Many students reportedly fled the scene by escaping through a back door, officials told the outlet.
After his deadly assault, the suspect reportedly called law enforcement authorities himself before being taken into custody on the school grounds, according to AP.
A classmate of Kecmanovic’s, identified only as Evgenija, told Reuters she would have never suspected the quiet teen was capable of carrying out such a deadly assault. “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 said, per the outlet. (RELATED: ‘Please Don’t Punish Him’: Mother Of Louisville Shooter Called 9-1-1 As Mayhem Unfolded At Bank)
“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 added, telling the outlet as soon as she realized what was happening, she ran away.
The gun Kecmanovic allegedly used in the attack was licensed to his father. Kecmanovic reportedly knew the code to the gun safe and was able to access the weapon, Interior Minister Bratislav Gasic told AP, adding that the boy’s father had also been arrested. (RELATED: ‘Our Schools Will No Longer Be Soft Targets’: Ohio School District Reportedly Allowing Teachers To Arm Themselves)
Serbian Education Minister Branko Ruzic has called for three days of national mourning beginning on Friday, Reuters reported.