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13 dead, including a baby, after house-to-house shooting spree in Serbian village

A man in a small village outside Belgrade, Serbia went door to door, gunning down 13 people including his own son, six women and one baby. The man tried to kill himself and his wife but they survived and are gravely wounded.

A 60-year-old man fatally shot 13 people, including a baby, in a house-to-house rampage in a quiet village in Serbia Tuesday, before trying to kill himself and his wife.

The gunman, identified by police as Ljubisa Bogdanovic - a former soldier and veteran of the early-1990s regional conflict– was in a critical condition in hospital along with his wife, Javorak, police told reporters.

Serbian police official Milorad Veljovic said the victims included 6 women, 6 men and a two-year-old boy, according to Serbian news site Press Online and other reports.

The shooter came from a “quiet family” and had no criminal record, Veljovic said. “We'll see what the motive is for this gruesome murder, we're all just stunned,” he told reporters.

Marko Djurica / Reuters

A policeman stands guard in the village of Velika Ivanca, Serbia, on Tuesday.

Bogdanovic had lost his job last year, Veljovic said according to Reuters, and had a firearms permit for his CZ88 pistol, according to Press Online and Novosti.

"We have never seen a tragedy like this in Serbia, and for that reason a motive must be ascertained - what prompted this man to kill so many people in their sleep," Veljovic added, according to news site B92.

'Good neighbor'
Residents of the village of Velika Ivanca, 30 miles southeast of the capital Belgrade, said Bogdanovic first killed his son, before leaving the house and shooting his neighbors, some of whom were still asleep. 

"He knocked on the doors, and as they were opened he just fired a shot," villager Radovan Radosavljevic told The Associated Press. "He was a good neighbor and anyone would open their doors to him. I don't know what happened."

The killings occurred between 5 a.m. and 5:30 a.m local time (11 p.m. to 11.30 p.m. ET Monday), the AP said.

Nada Macura, an official at the Belgrade hospital in Belgrade where the two were being treated, told the AP that Bogdanovic had no history of mental illness. However, Kostadinovic's wife Stanica said the man's father had hanged himself when he was a young boy and his uncle had a history of mental illness. 

The AP added:

Although such apparently random shootings are rare in Serbia, weapons are readily available mostly from the regional conflicts that tore through the Balkans in the 1990s and there is a tradition of possessing firearms.

The last similar shooting spree happened in Serbia in 2007 when a 39-year-old man gunned down nine people and injured two in a village in the east of the country.

Bogdanovic served as Serbian army soldier in the war in Croatia that began in 1991 and lasted until 1995, Reuters reported.

 

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