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Serbia is in the midst of 3 days of national mourning after deadly school shooting


Serbia is mourning today after a seventh grader armed with two pistols and Molotov cocktails opened fire at his school in the country's capital. Police say the 13-year-old killed eight classmates and a school security guard in what authorities are calling a planned attack. For the latest, we are joined by Igor Bozic. He's the news director at the Serbian TV outlet TV N1, and he joins us from Belgrade this morning. Good morning.

IGOR BOZIC: Good morning.

FADEL: If you could just start by telling us what happened - I mean, authorities are describing this as a planned attack.

BOZIC: Well, obviously, it was planned because the kid - they found at his home a plan of the school and the list of the name he attempt to assassinate. So obviously that - and they showed that to the public on the press conference yesterday. So obviously, that kid was completely unsatisfied with his status. That's - the chief of the police told last night in one show on public broadcaster. And he said that he was alone - I mean, feeling alone. And then he used the gun of his father to - let's say to do some kind of revenge. I mean, it is not finished. Like, investigation still didn't finish, and there is a lot of unanswered questions, but that probably will be the way and the reason why this happened.

FADEL: Now, the prosecutor's office in Belgrade says the alleged shooter, who's in custody, will not face criminal charges because he's a minor. So will anyone be held accountable for this violence?

BOZIC: Probably his parent - I mean, his father, who actually took him on the shooting range to use him for - to learn him how to shoot from the gun. And he is already in custody. And because in Serbia, the parents are responsible for the act of their minor children, he probably is going to finish in the jail. We're still trying to find out - because he didn't keep his gun on a proper way. He let the minor to took the gun and to kill people. So that's going to be probably criminal charges against his father and probably he's going to finish in the prison.

FADEL: Now, here in the U.S., mass shootings are unfortunately quite common. Students go through lockdown drills in case of an event like this at their school. How unusual is violence like this in Serbia?

BOZIC: Completely unusual because this never happened in Serbia before, neither university or high school. And this is something completely unbelievable because this is elementary school. We are talking about kids who is only 13 years old. And he - I mean, it's completely unbelievable for Serbia. And also, we never had any kind of incidents of this type. And what I've heard just before - that in one school near Belgrade appear, let's say, a copycat of this case but with a plastic gun. So police actually arrested that boy and his father this morning.

FADEL: Igor Bozic is the news director of Serbian TV outlet TV N1. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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