Shooting in Finnish school: one twelve-year-old killed, two others injured

Shooting in Finnish school: one twelve-year-old killed, two others injured
Shooting in Finnish school: one twelve-year-old killed, two others injured

A shooting took place this morning in a primary school in Vantaa, Finland, a suburb of the capital Helsinki. A twelve-year-old student died and two others were seriously injured. A suspect was quickly caught. It concerns a twelve-year-old classmate of the victims. In the coming hours, interrogations should clarify his motive.

At just after 9 a.m. local time (10 a.m. Belgian time), the Finnish police received a report that shots had been fired at the school. Not much later, the emergency services found three injured children. Two of them were taken to a nearby hospital, and a third died on the spot.

The two students who survived the shooting incident were seriously injured. The treating hospital does not release more information for privacy reasons.

Police officers at the school in Vantaa. — © AP

The suspected perpetrator fled on foot after the shooting. About an hour later he was arrested in Helsinki. This happened without violence, although he was still in possession of a weapon when arrested. It is probably a firearm belonging to a close family member who has a permit for this purpose.

The suspect admitted during the arrest that he fired the shots. He may have acted alone and there appears to be no connection with organized crime or street gangs. Because he is too young to be locked up under Finnish law, he will be handed over to social services after his interrogation.

“It is important that it is discussed at home”

“Particularly shocking,” Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo called the event, “especially because of the age of the victims and the suspect.” Orpo further said: “I would like to express my condolences and that of the government to the family and loved ones of the child who passed away. Our thoughts go out to the victims, their families, students and school staff.”

“Today and in the days to come we need presence, care and comfort,” Orpo said. “And it is important that this is talked about at home. I want to tell Finnish children that the Finnish government and school staff are doing everything they can every day to prevent something like this from happening.”

The primary school in Vantaa has about 800 students between 7 and 15 years old. There are also approximately 90 employees.

Weapons policy

Tragic school shootings have occurred in Finland before. In 2007, Pekka-Eric Auvinen opened fire at the high school in Joleka near Helsinki. Six students, a school nurse and the director were killed, after which the student killed himself.

In 2008, another student, Matti Saari, opened fire at a vocational school in Kauhajoki, northwestern Finland. He killed nine students and a staff member before turning the gun on himself.

Finland tightened its gun laws in 2010 and introduced an aptitude test for all gun permit applicants. The age limit for applicants was increased from 18 to 20 years. There are more than 1.5 million firearms licenses and about 430,000 permit holders in the country of 5.6 million people, where hunting and target shooting are popular activities.

The article is in Dutch

Tags: Shooting Finnish school twelveyearold killed injured


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