The suspect in a triple murder in downtown Split has been remanded to investigative custody for a period of one month, but authorities have moved him to a prison psychiatric facility in Zagreb.
The suspect is the alleged gunman in Saturday's shooting spree, which appears to be an act of vigilantism. The shooter was allegedly motivated by threats, physical attacks, and extortion perpetrated by the victims. The shooter and the victims have had prior encounters with police. The suspect underwent a psychiatric evaluation and was declared currently being unfit to participate in hearings related the case. Damir Romac, the spokesperson for the Split County Court, said the investigation is under seal and that he could not disclose any further details.
“I can confirm that the suspect was incapable of giving a statement. A court psychiatrist concluded that he is incapable of participating in hearings. Which is why he will be transferred to a psychiatric hospital in Zagreb,” Romac said.
The Mayor of Split, Andro Krstulović Opara, said this particularly brutal act of violence was cause for concern. He also had to answer questions from reporters about why he released the news of the alleged shooter's arrest before police did.
“At no point did I infringe upon the authority of the police, nor do I intend to do so. My responsibility is to the people and restoring their peace of mind. Providing timely and accurate information is one way of doing that,” the Mayor said.
Interior Minister Davor Božinović dismissed criticism that police inaction may have played a part in motivating the shooter.
“I assure you that the police, according to the report I received from the chief of police, handled this professionally, promptly, and responded to all of the calls that were received. Police also used high-tech equipment to quickly discover the identity of the individual in question,” Božinović said.
President Kolinda Grabar Kitarović also commented in a Tweet.
“I condemn any form of violence. It is unacceptable for individuals to take justice into their own hands, but the slow pace and inefficiency of the justice system is also unacceptable,” the President tweeted.
The suspect's defense attorney is being funded by money raised by a Facebook support group. Officials have expressed concern over support for the shooter's actions among some members of the public.