WARSAW -- A 60-year-old man went on a shooting rampage in a village near Belgrade, Serbia, early Tuesday, killing 13 people, including his son, his mother and a 2-year-old child, before attempting suicide, Serbian police officials and news reports said.
The police and the Serbian news media said the man, identified as Ljubisa Bogdanovic, used a handgun to kill six men, six women and the child, whose parents were among the dead. The Serbian police director, Milorad Veljovic, said the gunman's motive was not immediately known. Mr. Bogdanovic lost his job last year, the news media reported, and he was a veteran of the Balkan wars of the 1990s, having fought in Croatia in 1992.
The killings took place between 5 and 5:30 a.m. in the sleepy village of Velika Ivanca, 30 miles southeast of Belgrade, the Serbian capital. Police officials said Mr. Bogdanovic first shot his 42-year-old son and his mother, then left his home and went from house to house, where he killed several of his neighbors and relatives, some of whom were sleeping. The police said the neighbors in the close-knit village had left their doors unlocked and all were shot in the head.
The Serbian prime minister, Ivica Dacic, said the killings would spur a new focus on gun control laws. The Serbian government held an emergency session on Tuesday and was expected to declare a day of national mourning.
Sreten Despotovic, a neighbor, told Kurir, a daily Serbian newspaper, that Mr. Bogdanovic kicked down the door of his family's house and killed Mr. Despotovic's brother as well as a grandchild, who was sleeping. He said Mr. Bogdanovic's father hanged himself several years ago.
Mr. Bogdanovic also shot his wife, Javorka, who was taken to a hospital, the police said. The authorities initially counted her among the dead, but later said that she was in critical condition. After officers cornered Mr. Bogdanovic, he shot himself in a suicide attempt, the police said, and he was also in critical condition at a hospital in Belgrade.
Mr. Veljovic, who was at the scene, told Serbian state television that 12 victims died there and another at the hospital.
"This affected five homes, relatives and neighbors," Mr. Veljovic told B92, an independent Serbian broadcaster. "At this moment we have nobody to talk to because five houses have been effectively shut down. Most likely the murders would have continued had a police patrol that arrived at the scene not prevented him."
Mr. Bogdanovic was characterized by neighbors as a nonviolent and seemingly amiable man who had not previously attracted attention. The Serbian news media reported that he had a license for the gun used in the shootings.
Zorica and Slavica, 39, Mr. Bogdanovic's twin daughters, told the newspaper Kurir that they had talked to their parents on Monday and that nothing had seemed out of the ordinary. They said there were no quarrels within the family and described their father as a calm and decent person. They said their mother had told them that Mr. Bogdanovic, who started to raise pigs after losing his job, had a pig that was about to give birth.
The killings were met with shock and disbelief in Serbia, a poor country that lived through the bloody Balkan wars of the 1990s but that has experienced little random gun violence. The country is known to have stockpiles of weapons left over from the war, and it is not uncommon for Serbs to keep a firearm for personal protection.
The last mass murder in Serbia took place in 2007 in the village of Jabukovac, in eastern Serbia, where a man killed nine people.
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.