2020 Zagreb shooting
Part of right-wing terrorism in Europe
Banski dvori, site of attack
LocationSt. Mark's Square, Zagreb, Croatia
Coordinates45°49′00″N 15°58′24″E / 45.816554°N 15.973336°E / 45.816554; 15.973336Coordinates: 45°49′00″N 15°58′24″E / 45.816554°N 15.973336°E / 45.816554; 15.973336
Date12 October 2020 (2020-10-12)
c. 8:03 a.m. (CEST)
TargetBanski dvori
Attack type
Weapons
Deaths1 (the perpetrator)
Injured1 police officer
PerpetratorDanijel Bezuk
MotiveRight-wing extremism

The 2020 Zagreb shooting, commonly referred to as the St. Mark's Square attack (Croatian: Napad na Trgu svetog Marka), occurred on 12 October 2020 in Zagreb, Croatia, when 22-year-old Danijel Bezuk approached Banski dvori, which houses the office of the Prime Minister and serves as the meeting place of the government, on St. Mark's Square and started shooting at it with an assault rifle, wounding a police officer in the process. In the aftermath, the perpetrator ran off to a nearby neighborhood and committed suicide.[2]

Attack

External video
video icon Video of the attack to the Croatian government building at the St. Mark's Square on YouTube (1:50)

The attack occurred after 22-year-old Danijel Bezuk from Kutina, Sisak-Moslavina County, did not appear at his workplace in Zagreb, but instead headed to St. Mark's Square where the government building (Banski dvori), the Croatian parliament building (Sabor) and the Constitutional Court building are located. He subsequently took out the automatic rifle (5.45×39mm AK-74[3]) and opened fire on 33-year-old police officer Oskar Fiuri, who was guarding the main entrance, wounding him with four rounds, after which he continued shooting on Banski dvori.[4]

Another police officer who was guarding the Parliament on the opposite side of the square noticed what was happening across the square, so he took out his personal weapon and fired on the attacker who ran to the nearby street to take cover and reloaded his gun. He then returned and fired on the police again, but was again suppressed by the police fire, so he fled the scene in response.[4]

The wounded officer Fiuri in a state of shock, ran approximately 50 metres away where he collapsed but was provided help by the bystanders. After the bystanders called an ambulance, the wounded policeman was taken to Sisters of Charity Hospital in Zagreb, where he was treated for his wounds. Police then swarmed St. Mark Square looking for the attacker, but soon received the report of shots again being heard in the nearby Jabukovac Street, which turned out to be Bezuk taking his own life.[5][6]

Motives

Soon after the attack, the Croatian media found out the attacker's identity and started analyzing Bezuk's Facebook account, which featured written statuses, expressing his frustrations with the state of affairs in Croatia. The posts included a link to a YouTube video dedicated to snipers, captioned with: "I wish I was one of these guys, to take out Serbs". In another post, he described himself as "a tourist in his own country". In yet another post, he expressed his support for far-right Croatian Party of Rights' (HSP) paramilitary wing Croatian Defence Forces (HOS). In his last Facebook status before committing suicide, he wrote: "Enough of frauds and ruthless trampling of human values without [any] responsibility".[5]

In February 2021, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković stated that the motive of the attack was his party Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ)'s coalition with the Independent Democratic Serb Party (SDSS).[7][8]

Reactions

After the Croatian media started writing about Bezuk's Facebook profile, his profile received support from many other users. However, it was later deleted.[9]

In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, President Zoran Milanović held a press conference in which he called the government to protect the central state institutions, saying that "they are not a tourist destination".[10] On the same day, police raided Bezuk's family home, where they apparently found two rifles with optical sights, silencers, and over 1,000 pieces of ammunition.[11][12] On 14 October, Prime Minister Plenković said that "[Croatia is] having a serious issue with radicalism" and that the attack had elements of a terrorist act, based on the Croatian law on terrorism.[13] He also urged the police, State's Attorney Office of the Republic of Croatia and Security and Intelligence Agency to investigate "how a young man could become so radicalized". He also appealed to society to "raise the level of respect, in order to build a public culture which will prevent similar incidents from happening".[13] On 15 October 2020, Minister of Croatian Veterans Tomo Medved, while commenting the attack, pointed out that there were "series of clues indicating that the Prime Minister himself was the attacker's target".[14]

Investigation

On October 16, Croatian daily newspapers Jutarnji list, referring to the source from the police, published the article saying that prior to the attack Bezuk searched the internet for texts and photographs of government office location, building interior and regular activities of the President and the Prime Minister.[15]

The investigation was concluded on July 22, 2021 with official statement of State's Attorney Office reporting:[16]

The Zagreb County State's Attorney's Office issued a decision rejecting the criminal complaint against a Croatian citizen (1998) for the criminal offense of terrorism under Article 97, paragraph 1, item 1 of the Criminal Code.

On the occasion of the event of October 12, 2020 in Zagreb, when on the Square of St. In front of the building of the Government of the Republic of Croatia, there was a shooting in which a police officer was wounded. The Zagreb County State's Attorney's Office conducted the necessary investigations and evidentiary actions and determined all relevant circumstances of the crime.

After the investigation at the scene on the Square of St. Marko, the place where the discarded firearm was found in Opatička Street and the place where the suspect committed suicide, the Police Directorate, in cooperation with the State Attorney's Office, conducted an extensive criminal investigation that included conducting interviews with a large number of citizens. colleagues from work, friends and acquaintances of the suspect, as well as a large number of persons with whom he had telephone communication. The State Attorney's Office ordered and performed biological, dactyloscopic, ballistic, mechanoscopic and physico-chemical expertise of traces and objects seized during the investigation, as well as autopsies of the perpetrator's dead body. Evidential actions were carried out in the search of the suspect's family home as well as searches of movable items used by him (desktop computer, SIM card, portable hard disk, USB stick, user accounts on the Internet). As part of international legal assistance in criminal matters, the Zagreb County State's Attorney's Office issued a European investigation order in order to obtain certain data from the Republic of Germany.

During the conduct of the described investigations, no data were collected from which it would follow that in addition to the 23-year-old suspect, other persons participated in the commission of the criminal offense as accomplices or instigators, while criminal investigation collected data on the perpetrator's previous life and personality. possible connections with other persons, as well as the circumstances surrounding the acquisition and possession of firearms.

The criminal report against the 23-year-old suspect for committing the criminal offense of terrorism under Article 97 para. 1 item 1 of the Criminal Code was rejected pursuant to Article 206 para. 1 item 2 of the Criminal Procedure Code because the suspect committed suicide and died is a circumstance that precludes prosecution.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Police published video footage of a Mark Square Attack: there are elements of terrorism" (in Croatian). Večernji.hr. Retrieved 17 October 2020.
  2. ^ "Croatian police find weapons after shooting outside govt. HQ". Washington Post. Associated Press. ISSN 0190-8286. Archived from the original on 2020-10-16. Retrieved 2020-10-14.
  3. ^ Dešković, Miljuš, Marin, Dušan. "St. Mark Square Attacker Used the Rare Rifle Kalashnikov Variant Called "The Bone Breaker"". Jutarnji list. HINA. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Take a look on St. Mark Square attack video footage". Index.hr. Retrieved 2020-10-14.
  5. ^ a b "ŠTO JE NAPADAČ S MARKOVOG TRGA OBJAVLJIVAO NA SVOM FEJSU? 'Da sam barem jedan od njih, da skidam Srbe'… pisao i o 'nepravdi u Haagu'". Net.hr (in Croatian). 2020-10-12. Retrieved 2020-10-14.
  6. ^ "Jutarnji list - Kako je Bezuk s kalašnjikovom došao do Vlade? Dva ključna pitanja o napadu i dalje su misterij". www.jutarnji.hr (in Croatian). 2020-10-14. Retrieved 2020-10-14.
  7. ^ Jelušić, Andrej (22 February 2021). "PLENKOVIĆ OBJASNIO SVOJU REAKCIJU: 'Isti su kao i oni što nas nazivaju srbočetnicima. Pred našu vladu čovjek je pucao oružjem jer smo u koaliciji s SDSS-om'". Dnevno.hr (in Croatian). Retrieved 23 February 2021.
  8. ^ Hina (22 April 2021). "Premijer Andrej Plenković s ministrima položio vijenac kod Kamenog cvijeta u Jasenovcu". Dnevnik.hr (in Croatian). Retrieved 22 April 2021.
  9. ^ "Napadaču s Markova trga profil na Facebooku više nije aktivan". www.24sata.hr (in Croatian). Retrieved 2020-10-14.
  10. ^ "Milanović o pucnjavi na Markovu trgu: Pozivam Vladu da odgovarajuće zaštiti Trg". N1 HR (in Croatian). Retrieved 2020-10-14.
  11. ^ "Croatian police find weapons after shooting outside govt. HQ". ABC News. Retrieved 2020-10-14.
  12. ^ "Traje pretres imanja i kuće napadača s Markovog trga, oglasio se njegov ujak". www.index.hr (in Croatian). Retrieved 2020-10-14.
  13. ^ a b "Plenković o napadu na Markovu trgu: 'Imamo ozbiljan problem s radikalizmom'". www.vecernji.hr (in Croatian). Retrieved 2020-10-14.
  14. ^ "Medved: 'Čitav niz pokazatelja govori da je meta napada na Markovu trgu bio Plenković'". Večernji list (in Croatian). 15 October 2020. Retrieved 19 October 2020.
  15. ^ Dešković, Marin; Žabec, Krešimir; Miljuš, Dušan (16 October 2020). "Što je guglao Danijel Bezuk: Na webu tražio gdje živi i gdje se kreće Plenković, ali i Milanović". Jutarnji list (in Croatian). Retrieved 19 October 2020.
  16. ^ "DORH utvrdio: Napad na Markovu trgu bio je terorizam" [DORH determined: The attack on St. Mark's Square was terrorism]. N1 (in Croatian). 22 July 2021. Retrieved 25 July 2021.