Montenegro declares three days of mourning after mass shooting

Montenegro declares three days of mourning after mass shooting

Montenegro has started three days of national mourning for victims of a mass shooting in the western city of Cetinje's Medovina neighbourhood.

Prime Minister Dritan Abazovic declared the beginning of the day after 10 people, including two children, were killed in a daylight attack by a 34-year-old gunman who police said had recently exhibited a change in behavior. The attacker used a hunting rifle to first fatally shoot two siblings, 8 and 11, and their mother, who lived as tenants in his house.

He then walked to the street and randomly shot 13 more people, seven of whom died. The gunman was shot dead after a fight with police.

The police investigating the shooting issued a statement on Saturday, local time, saying it was still not known what motivated the gunman, who has been identified only by his initials, VB.

They said people close to the attacker said he had recently started showing a change in behaviour, but nothing that indicated he could commit such a crime. While the attacker had an appointment to see a mental health care specialist, he went on the rampage prior to that.

The police statement said that the law enforcement officers sent to the scene came under fire from the attacker and responded by firing at him at least 20 times and seriously injuring him.

It is still being investigated if he died as a result of serious injury by the police or as a result of being shot at by a local citizen, the statement said.

The prosecutor who oversees the investigation, Andrijana Nastic, told reporters on Friday that a police officer was wounded and a gunman was killed by a passer-by.

She said nine of those killed died at the scene and two died at a hospital.

Witnesses of the attack struggled to come to terms with the carnage on Saturday.

They described scenes of chaos and horror as the gunman unleashed his fury on innocent people just going about their daily business on a warm summer afternoon.

I've seen a lot of crying, tears and sadness, and today, silence and disbelief. Cetinje, a city of 17,000 people and the seat of Montenegro's former royal government, is located 36 kilometres west of Podogrica, the current capital of the small Balkan nation.

Four of the wounded were transferred to the Clinical Centre in Podgorica for surgery and were still in intensive care on Saturday, according to chief neurosurgeon, Dr Ivan Terzic.

Two other victims had less severe injuries and were recovering at a hospital in Cetinje.