Serbia cafe shooting: Five killed and 22 injured after ‘jealous’ gunman kills wife and goes on rampage

Police said the man opened fire with an illegal assault rifle

Lizzie Dearden
Saturday 02 July 2016 11:25 BST
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Makijato bar in Žitište after a shooting in the Serbian village on 2 July
Makijato bar in Žitište after a shooting in the Serbian village on 2 July (Reuters)

A gunman has shot five people dead and wounded many more after opening fire in a café in Serbia.

Police said the man was armed with an illegal weapon when he burst into the Makijato bar in Žitište in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Witnesses told Serbia's state broadcaster that the attacker saw his wife with a group of friends, left and returned with an assault rifle at around 1.40am (00.40am BST).

“He just pulled out a gun and started shooting, first into the air,” said witness Svetozar Manojlovic.

The crime scene after a shooting at Makijato bar in Žitište (Reuters)

“It sounded like firecrackers at first. Then the guy next to me fell down and others started falling down. It was total chaos.”

Gordana Kozlovacki, the director of the hospital in the nearby town of Zrenjanin, said 22 people were treated after the shooting.

Seven remained in a serious condition and at least three were believed to be children.

Ljubomir Milinovic, who owns the café, said people did not immediately understand what was happening on a busy summer night.

“It was horrible, people were screaming and there was blood everywhere,” he added. “We immediately started rushing people to the hospital and ambulances soon arrived.”

Serbian interior minister, Nebojsa Stefanovic, said patrons managed to wrestle the weapon from the man's hands.

He told B92 television that the gunman had murdered his estranged wife and another woman before firing randomly, adding: “Jealousy could be a motive. He was a quiet man; he had no criminal record.”

The suspect, identified by the initials ZS, was arrested immediately after the attack around 50 miles north of the capital Belgrade.

Following the Balkans wars, Serbia and neighbouring countries have been awash with hundreds or thousands of illegal firearms.

On Friday, Serbia’s national police started an amnesty for people to surrender the weapons running until November.

In 2013, 13 people died in a shooting spree in a village near Belgrade, and last year six people were killed in a dispute over a wedding in northern Serbia.

Five British teenagers were caught up in a gun battle in neighbouring Bulgaria last month.

They were drinking at Sunny Beach in Burgas when shooting broke out between rival gangs, killing a bodyguard and leaving a notorious crime lord in a critical condition.

Additional reporting by agencies

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