VELIKA IVANCA, Serbia – Hundreds gathered in this Serbian village Friday to bury 13 people shot to death by a man whom many once knew as a quiet, helpful neighbor. Some mourners wailed as church bells tolled.
Ljubisa Bogdanovic, a 60-year-old veteran of the Balkan wars, went on a pre-dawn, house-to-house rampage Tuesday in Velika Ivanca, police said. The shooting victims included his mother, his son and a 2-year-old boy who was his cousin.
On Friday, the dead lay in coffins -- a dozen brown wooden ones, and a small, white one for the boy -- lined up on a red carpet before a small church near the village cemetery. Mourners, many dressed in black, crowded the small graveyard, which is just a few kilometers (miles) from the scene of the shootings
The shooting suspect, who shot himself and his wife after gunning down his neighbors, died Thursday in a Belgrade hospital. His 60-year-old-wife was recovering from shoulder and head wounds.
Police say they do not yet know what motivated the shooter. Bogdanovic had no criminal record nor recorded history of mental illness. He fought in the Balkan wars in the 1990s and lost his job a year ago at a wood processing factory.
Residents of Velika Ivanca, which lies about 50 kilometers (30 miles) southeast of Belgrade, have said Bogdanovic first killed his son and his mother before leaving his home and going house to house, shooting his neighbors.
They expressed deep shock, describing the suspect as a quiet and helpful man.
But his wife, speaking to doctors from her hospital bed, said he had "a bad temper" and that he used to beat her and their 42-year-old son, who lived with them.
Serbian officials said the killings showed the government must pay more attention to gun control, medical screening for war veterans and other social problems.
Although such mass shootings are relatively rare in Serbia, weapons are readily available. Police said the suspect had a license for the handgun he used.