Eight students and a guard killed in a school in Serbia
BET À DAY
Eight students and the caretaker of a primary school in Belgrade were shot and killed by a student there who was arrested, causing great shock in Serbia where school shootings are extremely rare .
“In the shooting that took place this morning at the Vladislav Ribnikar primary school, in Vracar (in the center of Belgrade, editor’s note), eight children and a guard were killed, while six children and a teacher were injured and were hospitalized,” the Interior Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.
The student suspected of having committed this crime, a 14-year-old boy, was found in the schoolyard and was arrested, according to the same source.
Earlier in the day, the ministry said the arrested teenager was “suspected of having fired several shots in the direction of students and a school guard with a pistol belonging to his father”.
“All police forces are still on the ground and are working intensively to shed light on all the facts and circumstances that led to this tragedy,” according to the ministry.
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At the end of the morning, the president of the municipality of Vracar, Milan Nedeljkovic, had declared to the press that the guard of the establishment was dead and that several pupils and a teacher of history were hurt.
“He wanted to prevent this tragedy and he died (…) The tragedy would probably have been worse if this man had not stood in front of the boy who was shooting,” added Mr. Nedeljkovic, in front of the school, according to images broadcast by national television (RTS). He added that the teacher was in “serious condition”.
Shortly after the shooting, which occurred around 8:40 a.m. (6:40 GMT), police cordoned off the perimeter around the school where ambulances poured in to pick up the wounded, under the eyes of worried parents who were waiting for their children nearby, reported an AFP journalist.
Astrid Merlini, whose daughter was at the school, said teachers moved quickly to hide the children during the shooting.
“When (my daughter) saw the security guard fall, she rushed back to her classroom. She got scared. She told her teacher that there was a shooting upstairs,” Merlini told AFP.
“The teacher immediately took the children to safety, locking them in the classroom,” she added.