March 25, 2023

A man rioted in the streets of this western Montenegro town on Friday, killing 10 people, including two children, before being shot and killed by a passerby, officials said.

Montenegrin police chief Zoran Brdjanin said the man used a shotgun to first shoot and kill two children, ages eight and 11, and their mother, who lived as tenants at the attacker’s house in the Medovina neighborhood of Cetinje.

The gunman then walked out onto the street and randomly shot 13 more people, seven of them fatally, the chief said.

Brdjanin said in a video statement shared to the media that the attacker was a 34-year-old man whom he identified only by his initials, VB.

“At this point, it is unclear what prompted VB to commit this horrific act,” Brdjanin said.

Andrijana Nastic, the prosecutor coordinating the investigation into the crime scene, told reporters that the gunman was killed by a passer-by and that a police officer was among the injured.

She said nine of the dead died on the spot and two died in a hospital where they were operated on.

The shooting is the deadliest violent incident in years to rock the Adriatic nation.

The incident took place in Cetinje, about 36 kilometers west of the capital Podgorica, after the gunman was involved in a family dispute, RTCG said.

In the wake of the shooting, Prime Minister Dritan Abazovic called on the country to provide support to the families of the victims, saying the incident was unprecedented in Montenegro’s recent history.

The prime minister wrote in a message on Telegram: “I invite all citizens of Montenegro to join the families of the innocent victims, their relatives, friends and all the people of Cetinje.”

The footage shows both officials and the public at the edge of the crime scene that was cordoned off after the mass shooting

A forensic police team inspects the house where the gunman started shooting tenants, including a mother and her two children

A police investigator can be seen with evidence taken from the crime scene

Crowds have gathered in small village after deadliest shooting in decades

Relatives of the victims comfort each other at the crime scene where the gunman opened fire before being shot by a passerby

Grieving and distraught relatives gather in front of a city hospital where multiple fatalities occurred – nine of them died on the spot and two died in hospital

A medical worker comforts a family member of a victim of the shooting that injured many

President Milo Djukanovic said on Twitter that he was “deeply moved by the news of the terrible tragedy” in Cetinje and called for “solidarity” with the families who lost loved ones in the incident.

Four of the injured were taken to hospital in Cetinje, while two others were sent to the clinical center in Podgorica with serious injuries.

Montenegro is famous for its picturesque beaches, framed by nearby mountains that have long been a draw for tourists.

The site of the country’s former royal capital, Cetinje sits in a mountainous valley that has largely stagnated economically in recent decades.

Residents were in shock after the shooting.

“I can’t believe this happened in Cetinje and Montenegro. I don’t know what to say, I’m speechless. I don’t know where this could lead us,” Milorad Mitrovic, resident of Cetinje, told RTCG.

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The incident comes as the country is in the throes of the highly anticipated peak tourist season after two years of the coronavirus pandemic.

Police have still not released an official statement about the attack.

A man can be seen reacting to the scene of the horror shooting that claimed 11 lives

A firefighter walks past a hearse at the shooting scene in the Medovina neighborhood of Cetinje

People stand near where gunman randomly shot people in the street – after killing a mother and her two children

Police detectives attend the scene of the shooting that took place after the gunman had a family quarrel

Photographers are talking to a police officer at the shooting scene that has been closed down

Numerous officials have gathered at the scene of the shooting that killed at least 11 people

With an unemployment rate of about 18 percent and an average monthly salary of less than 520 euros ($614), Montenegro counts on tourism and the appeal of some 300 km of azure coastline to boost its income.

Holiday destinations such as Budva and Kotor attract large crowds, the latter is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Organized crime and corruption are still two major problems facing the country, and the authorities have promised to tackle them under pressure from the EU.

However, mass shootings are rare in the Adriatic nation.

The incident marks the deadliest shooting in the Adriatic nation in decades as strict security measures are taken

Four of the injured were taken to hospital in Cetinje, while two others were taken to the clinical center in Podgorica with serious injuries.

The footage was taken at the scene of the shooting in Cetinje, the country’s former royal capital, nestled in a mountainous valley.

Members of the public gathered after mass shooting, deadliest in years

The victims’ relatives gathered at the scene along with the public

Police and firefighters can be seen on site while the investigation is ongoing

Part of the village of Medovina has been cordoned off in an attempt to contain the crime scene

A lot of police are present after the bodies are removed and the injured are taken to hospital