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Student opens fire at Finland school, killing 1 and wounding 2 others

Police said a 12-year-old suspect was arrested after the shooting at a secondary school with some 800 students just outside Helsinki.
Student opens fire at Finland school, killing 1 and wounding 2 others
Posted at 5:47 AM, Apr 02, 2024

A 12-year-old student opened fire at a secondary school in southern Finland on Tuesday morning, killing one and seriously wounding two other students, police said. The suspect was later arrested.

Heavily armed police cordoned off the lower secondary school, with some 800 students, in the city of Vantaa, just outside the capital, Helsinki, after receiving a call about a shooting incident at 9:08 a.m.

Police said both the suspect and the victims were 12 years old. The suspect was arrested in the Helsinki area later Tuesday with a handgun in his possession, police said.

Police told a news conference that one of the wounded students had died. The other two were seriously wounded, said Chief of Police Ilka Koskimaki from the Eastern Uusima Police Department.

Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo posted on X that he was “deeply shocked” over the shooting.

In the past decades, Finland has witnessed two major deadly school shootings.

In November 2007, a 18-year-old student armed with a semi-automatic pistol opened fire at the premises of the Jokela high school in Tuusula, southern Finland, killing nine people. He was found dead with self-inflicted wounds.

Less than a year later, in September 2008, a 22-year-old student shot and killed 10 people with a semi-automatic pistol at a vocational college in Kauhajoki, southwestern Finland, before fatally shooting himself.

In the Nordic nation of 5.6 million, there are more than 1.5 million licensed firearms and about 430,000 license holders, according to the Finnish Interior Ministry. Hunting and gun-ownership have long traditions in the sparsely-populated northern European country.

Responsibility for granting permits for ordinary firearms rests with local police departments.

Following the school shootings in 2007 and 2008, Finland tightened its gun laws by raising the minimum age for firearms ownership and giving police greater powers to make background checks on individuals applying for a gun license.

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