Over a dozen people have died following a shooting spree in a Serbian village, according to health officials. A man reportedly opened fire on local residents in a town near Belgrade.
Belgrade emergency hospital spokeswoman Nada Macura said a 60-year-old man identified as Ljubisa Bogdanovic used a handgun to kill six men, six women and a child.
The shooting spree took place at five houses in Velika Ivanca, a village 50 kilometers (30 miles) southeast of Belgrade, Macura said. The dead included several of his relatives.
Residents of the village described the suspect as a nice quiet man. They said he first killed his son before leaving the house and then began shooting his neighbors, some of whom were still asleep.
"He knocked on the doors and as they were opened he just fired a shot," said resident Radovan Radosavljevic. "He was a good neighbor and anyone would open their doors to him. I don't know what happened."
Neighbor Milovan Kostadinovic said the suspected killer was caught by a police patrol while on the way to his house.
"If they didn't stop him, he would have wiped us all out," Kostadinovic said, standing in front of his two-story, red tile-roofed house - one of a dozen modest homes that make up the village, which is located on a lush green hill covered with fruit trees. "He shot himself when police stopped him."
Serbian police chief Milorad Veljovic said 12 people were killed immediately between 5am and 5:30am, and one person died in a Belgrade hospital. The man and his wife were both severely injured by the shootings and another person was also injured, the hospital spokeswoman said.
"We are all caught by surprise," Veljovic told reporters. "Most of the victims were shot while asleep."
He said the motive for the killings Tuesday was unclear.
bk/kms (AP, AFP)