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Serbia Declares 3-Day Mourning for School Shooting Victims

The government of Serbia declared three days of mourning after an armed adolescent took nine lives and wounded seven at an elementary school in Belgrade on Wednesday morning.

Minister of Education Branko Ruzic said that between May 5 and May 7 the country will mourn for the victims who lost their lives in the incident.

“We need to allow the families to send their loved ones off in peace… and allow decent time to look at this kind of tragedy from all aspects,” he said.

At 8:40 a.m. on Wednesday, the deputy principal of the school, Ivanka Jovanovic, called the police and said that a boy had entered the school with a firearm and was shooting randomly. Police patrols were immediately dispatched.

The head of the Belgrade police department, Veselin Milic, told journalists that the perpetrator also called the police and said that he had shot several people at the Vladislav Ribnikar elementary school.

“When the police arrived at the scene, it was determined that a firearm had been used by the aforementioned boy… Eight students were killed, seven girls and one boy,” Milic said, adding that one security guard was also killed. Four boys, two girls and a history teacher were injured.

The perpetrator’s father, the legal owner of the gun, was arrested later in the day.

Health minister Danica Grujicic said that six children and a teacher were being treated at health institutions in Belgrade.