Shooter (12) cites bullying as a motive for fatal shooting in Finnish school

Shooter (12) cites bullying as a motive for fatal shooting in Finnish school
Shooter (12) cites bullying as a motive for fatal shooting in Finnish school
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The 12-year-old boy who shot and killed a peer in a school in Finland did so because he was being bullied. He confessed this to the Finnish police. Two girls were also injured in the shooting. It is not clear whether the victims are the bullies.

The suspect was interrogated for the first time by investigators yesterday and will be interrogated again today. During his first interrogation, the boy indicated that he was the victim of bullying. During the shooting incident he also allegedly referred to that bullying behavior. “The suspect stated during an interrogation that he was the target of harassment and this information was also confirmed during the police preliminary investigation,” a police statement said on Wednesday.

The teenager was arrested by the police after the incident at the Viertola school. During his flight, he also threatened students who were on their way to another school with his firearm. He was still in possession of the weapon at the time of his arrest. The boy had only been at the school for a few months. He was reportedly transferred eleven weeks ago to the educational institution in Vantaa, north of Helsinki. According to the police, the act was planned, but it is not clear how long the teenager had been doing this. “The boy said he regrets the act,” police sources said.

The boy is not yet allowed to speak to his parents or other family members. Meetings with loved ones are only possible after speaking to those close to him.

Suspected of murder and two attempted murders

The 12-year-old is suspected of murder and two counts of attempted murder. Two girls who were also hit by the hail of bullets are still in critical condition in hospital. One of them has dual nationality, that of Finland and Kosovo.

Numerous candles have been placed in sympathy at the school, which also provides special education. The school was also guarded for some time by heavily armed units just to be on the safe side. The school has a total of about eight hundred students.

The shooting led to shocked reactions in Finland and sparked political discussions about tightening the – by Western standards – flexible gun laws in the country. The 12-year-old had probably obtained the weapon through a family member. In Finland, a weapon may be used under certain conditions from the age of fifteen.

Today a day of national mourning is observed in the country. Flags are flown at half-mast at public buildings and institutions.

The article is in Dutch

Tags: Shooter cites bullying motive fatal shooting Finnish school

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