Five people have been killed and 22 wounded after a gunman motivated by jealousy, opened fire with an automatic rifle at a café in Serbia.
The gunman aged 38, first killed his ex-wife and her friend around 1:40 a.m. local time Saturday before spraying bullets into the crowded Macchiato café during a festival in the village of Zitiste, located about 30 miles north of Belgrade.
“He just pulled out a gun and started shooting, first into the air,” said one of the witnesses, Svetozar Manojlovic. “It sounded like firecrackers at first,” he said. “Then the guy next to me fell down and others started falling down. It was total chaos.”
A witnesses claims the shooter saw his wife out partying with a group of friends earlier in the night and went home to retrieve his gun. State news agency Tanjug reported that he was wielding a Kalashnikov rifle, which he obtained illegally.
Ljubomir Milinovic the cafe owner said the crowd of people were enjoying a hot summer night out before the bloodshed and chaos.
A witnesses managed to wrest the gunman’s firearm from his hands while he tried to flee the scene. Police in the vicinity swiftly caught up with and took him into custody, according to Serbia’s Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic.
The wounded victims were taken to hospitals in nearby Zrenjanin and Novi Sad. Doctors in Zrenjanin said seven people underwent operation and were in serious condition.
“Jealousy could be a motive,” Stefanovic said. “He was a quiet man; he had no criminal record.”