BELGRADE, Serbia — Scores of Serbian students, many wearing black and carrying flowers, paid silent homage on Thursday to peers killed a day earlier when a 13-year-old boy used his father’s guns in a school shooting rampage that sent shockwaves through the nation and triggered moves to boost gun control.
The students filled the streets around the school in central Belgrade as they streamed in from all over the city. Earlier, thousands had lined up to lay flowers, light candles and leave toys to commemorate the eight children and a school guard who were killed on Wednesday morning.
People cried and hugged outside the school as they stood in front of heaps of flowers, small teddy bears and soccer balls. A gray and pink toy elephant was placed by the school fence along with messages of grief, and a girl’s ballet shoes hung from
The Balkan nation is struggling to come to terms with what has happened. Though awash with weapons left over from the wars of the 1990s, mass shootings still have been extremely rare — and this is the first school shooting in Serbia’s modern history.
The tragedy also sparked a debate about the general state of the nation following decades of crises and conflicts whose aftermath have created a state of permanent insecurity and instability, along with deep political divisions.
Dragan Popadic, a psychology professor at Belgrade University, told The Associated Press that it’s still unclear what caused the teenager to react in such a way, but that the tragedy has exposed the level of violence present in society and caused a deep shock.
“All of a sudden, we are living in a different world,” he said. “We used to live in a world where it was impossible for a 13-year-old to be a mass killer and now, all of a sudden, it is possible and we have to accept that it happened.”
Such a change, Popadic added, is “deeply disturbing.”
Authorities on Thursday moved to boost gun control, as police urged citizens to lock up their guns and keep them safe, away from children.
Police have said that the teen used his father’s guns to carry out the attack. He had planned it for a month, drew sketches of classrooms and made lists of the children he planned to kill, police said on Wednesday.
The boy, who had visited shooting ranges with his father and apparently had the code to his father’s safe, took two guns from the safe where they were stored together with the bullets, police said
“The Ministry of Interior is appealing to all gun owners to store their guns with care, locked up in safes or closets so they are out of reach of others, particularly children,” police said in a statement that also announced tightened controls on gun owners in the future.
The shooting on Wednesday morning at Vladislav Ribnikar primary school also left seven people hospitalized — six children and a teacher. One girl who was shot in the head remains in a life-threatening condition, and a boy is in serious condition with spinal injuries, doctors said Thursday morning.
To help people deal with the tragedy, authorities announced they were setting up a help line. Hundreds answered a call to donate blood for the wounded victims. A three-day mourning period will begin this morning.
Sounds like an AP Propaganda piece (IMHO). The last thing a Pedophile wants, is to have the Parents of a Child they Molested, to have access to a Firearm. No one Supports Gun Control more... than a Wealthy Powerful Pedophile.
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