AP, REUTERS, B92 (Serbia), RT (Russia)
VELIKA IVANCA - A man shot and killed thirteen relatives and neighbors on Tuesday morning in a town 50 kilometers south of Belgrade. The gunman then tried unsuccessfully to kill himself and his wife, police report.
According to RT, the killings began when the man shot his son shortly after 5 a.m. local time, left his house, knocking on the doors of five nearby homes, and opened fire on relatives and neighbors.
Many of the victims were still asleep when they were killed, many shot in the head, writes Reuters. Six men, six women, and a two year-old child died before the gunman tried to kill himself and his wife. Both are currently in critical condition in hospital, says the AP.
Serbian police chief Milorad Veljovic said that the motive for the killings was not clear. The suspect, identified as Ljubiša Bogdanovic, lost his job last year, and had fought as a Serb soldier in the war in Croatia from 1991-95.
Serbian news site B92 says that the man did not have a history of mental illness nor a police record. Neighbors described him as a non-violent man and that on Monday, “he behaved normally -- but then something cracked in his head overnight”.
"He knocked on the doors, and as they were opened he just fired a shot," said local villager Radovan Radosavljevic. "He was a good neighbor and anyone would open their doors to him. I don't know what happened."
Shooting sprees like this are uncommon in Serbia. The last of this kind was in 2007, when a gunman in the eastern village of Jabukovac killed nine and wounded two, according to the AP.