Serbia’s second mass shooting in days leaves 8 dead

Serbia’s second mass shooting in days leaves 8 dead
The suspect was detained after a manhunt involving more than 600 members of special units. /
By Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje May 5, 2023

A young man opened fired at people in several villages near the Serbian municipality of Mladenovac close to Belgrade with an automatic weapon late on May 4, killing eight people and injuring 13 others. 

This was less than two days since another mass shooting in Serbia, in which a 13-year-old boy killed eight pupils and a security guard in an elite Belgrade elementary school. The authorities in Serbia are calling for stricter gun control laws to prevent future tragedies. 

The second shooting spree began in the village of Dubona, where an off-duty policeman and his sister were among those killed, RTS reported. The attacker then drove through other villages, indiscriminately firing from a car at people before fleeing the scene.

Following the attack, numerous police vehicles, including intervention units and other forces, were dispatched to Mladenovac to search for the shooter. Interior Minister Bratislav Gasic described the shooting as a terrorist act.

Residents of Dubona and surrounding villages were urged to stay indoors and avoid any unnecessary travel.

"Sadly, regrettably, we locked ourselves in our houses, so that he wouldn't come to us," Milan Prokic, a resident of Dubona village, told RTS.

After a manhunt involving more than 600 members of special units, the suspected shooter, a 21-year-old identified only as U.B., and later as Uros, was arrested near Kragujevac. According to unofficial reports from RTS, the suspect's father is a military man.

The wounded were transported to several hospitals, including the emergency centre in Belgrade, the Dragisa Misovic clinical hospital and the general hospital in Smederevo.

The school shooting on May 3 prompted the Serbian authorities to consider tighter gun controls to prevent another incident, and said checks of registered weapons would be carried out. 

“The Ministry of the Interior appeals to all gun owners to keep their weapons conscientiously, locked in safes, cash registers or closets, so that they are inaccessible to unauthorised persons, especially children,” a ministry statement said on May 4.