13 people in Serbia, including a baby, were killed on Tuesday morning when a 60-year-old veteran went door-to-door murdering his neighbors in a village about 30 miles southeast of Belgrade.
Ljubisa Bogdanovic used a handgun to kill his son before departing from his house and attacking people in at least five other houses in Velika Ivanca. Six women, including some of Bogdanovic’s relatives, are now dead. Village residents described Bogdanovic as a quiet man and they have no idea what prompted the shooting spree, according to Yahoo News.
"He knocked on the doors and as they were opened he just fired a shot," said Radovan Radosavljevic. "He was a good neighbor and anyone would open their doors to him. I don't know what happened."
Bogdanovic was eventually stopped and captured by a police patrol, but not before he attempted to shoot himself, according to the suspected killer’s neighbor, Milovan Kostadinovic.
"If they didn't stop him, he would have wiped us all out," Kostadinovic said. "He shot himself when police stopped him.” Bogdanovic’s wife was also injured.
Serbian police Chief Milorad Veljovic said that Bogdanovic lost his job last year and also served as a volunteer for the Serbian army in Croatia in 1992. "We are all caught by surprise," Veljovic said about the shootings. "Most of the victims were shot while asleep." There are conflicting reports about whether Bogdanovic had a history of mental illness.
Although it is believed that the veteran had a license for the handgun he used in these shootings, Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic said that the killings should serve as a reminder that the government should pay more attention to gun control laws. This is the first major shooting in Serbia since 2007 when a man killed nine people and injured two others.
According to the World Health Organization, Serbia has an extremely low murder rate with only 1.2 intentional homicides per 100,000 inhabitants in 2010. That figure is only one quarter of the murder rate of the United States.