Eight children and a security guard have been killed after a teenage boy opened fire on his teacher and fellow pupils in a school shooting in Belgrade, Serbia, the country’s interior ministry has said.
According to a breaking report by Sky News, the seventh grade student used his father’s gun to carry out the terrifying attack at Vladislav Ribnikar elementary school in Serbia’s capital on Wednesday morning.
Mayor of the central Vracar district in Belgrade, where the secondary school is located, said the teacher is fighting for their life after being shot. In addition to the dead, it is so far understood that six children have also been injured and are receiving treatment.
Sky News reports that acting director of a paediatric clinic in Belgrade which is treating three of the victims of the shooting, Sinisa Ducic, told media that one child, a girl, has a “serious” head injury and is undergoing surgery.
The suspect has been arrested, with local media footage showing his head covered as officers brought him to a car parked nearby. It is understood that police have identified him only by the initials KK and that he was arrested in the yard of the school.
The BBC reports that a huge police operation is currently underway, after officers in bulletproof vests and helmets cordoned off the area around the school shortly after 08:40 local time (07:40 GMT).
“The police sent all available patrols immediately to the spot and arrested a suspected minor – a seventh grade student who is suspected of firing several shots from his father’s gun in the direction of students and school security,” the interior ministry said in a statement.
“All police forces are still on the ground working intensively to shed light on all the facts and circumstances that led to this tragedy,” it said in a later message.
Mass shootings are relatively rare in Serbia, a country has very strict gun laws. However, gun ownership in the country is among the highest in Europe.