Slovenian, US police prevent planned mass shootings in Gorenjska

Ljubljana – The Kranj Police Department said on Wednesday that Slovenian and US law enforcement authorities had prevented planned mass shootings with firearms in public institutions in the north-western region of Gorenjska. The person suspected of planning to commit these acts has been detained.

After the online edition of the newspaper Večer reported that a shooting rampage had been planned in the region, the Kranj Police Department announced a press conference for the afternoon, where some more detail was revealed.

Primož Donoša, the head of the criminal police of Kranj, said that an adult suspected of illegal production or sale of firearms or explosives had been brought before an investigative magistrate. He noted that the firearms had been seized.

It has been established in the investigation, which included covert measures, that the suspect, a Slovenian citizen, tried to get by mail two pieces of firearms and ammunition from the US.

The suspect ordered a Glock semi-automatic pistol and a Remington automatic rifle, with both pieces of firearms “hidden and packed in a microwave oven”, and paid EUR 5,000 for the firearms.

The shipment ordered via dark web was intercepted by the US authorities, which informed the Slovenian police that the firearms had been seized, Donoša said, adding that all of that had happened this month.

After being notified, the Slovenian criminal police launched an investigation and tracked down the person who had ordered the firearms. This was not too difficult as the suspect had ordered the firearms as an individual to his home address.

It has been established that he had ordered the firearms to use it for a mass shooting in a public institution, and there are indications that some more random victims and another two public institutions could be targetted.

According to the police, the alleged motive is the suspect’s revenge against persons known to him, although no particular connections between the suspect and the potential victims have been established so far.

All the evidence collected so far indicates that the suspect, who was apprehended at home by a special police unit, acted alone. He has been cooperative in the investigation and has no previous criminal record.

The suspect did not resist arrest and, during the house search, criminal police officers found proof of the suspected criminal acts of illegal production or sale of firearms or explosives, and of attempted murder.

A prison sentence of six months to five years is envisaged for the former, and up to life in prison for the latter in the case of multiple victims.

The police also said that activities were being carried out to protect the potential victims and the targetted institutions.

According to Matjaž Jerkič, the assistant director of the Criminal Police Department at the General Police Directorate, this is the first case of the kind in Slovenia, with the suspect planning a shooting rampage involving several victims.

The police was tight-lipped about the name of the suspect, and have failed to confirm the unofficial information from Večer that it is a secondary school student from the Kranj area who has had problems in school.

The age of the suspect has not been revealed, with the police only saying that the suspect was an adult. They did not reveal how many persons were on the suspect’s list, either.

“There are different factors that influence the perpetrator’s decision to carry out such attacks. Most frequently these are various psychopathological states or revenge against individuals or the community,” Jerkič said.