Nine people were hurt, including two children, when Croatian border police fired at a van full of illegal migrants that refused to stop.
Police said they discovered 29 people inside the van after it crossed the border from Bosnia.
The driver fled into the woods, and police were searching for him.
The two wounded children were recovering in a hospital, and officials said their lives were not in danger.
“We are sorry about the children being injured in this incident,” Zadar town police chief Anton Drazina said. “Our priority is the fight against organized crime and protection of the state border and not against the migrants, but against the criminals who are unfortunately endangering the lives of the migrants by their smuggling activities.”
Police said most of the people in the van were from Afghanistan and Iraq.
Hundreds of thousands of migrants used the so-called Balkan route to cross into the European Union before the route was shut down. But a number of people still slip through.