Finland: One child dead and two severely injured after school shooting

The incident occurred at the Viertola school in Vantaa, a suburb of the Finnish capital, which serves approximately 800 children and 90 staff.
Finland: One child dead and two severely injured after school shooting

A 12-year-old opened fire at a secondary school in southern Finland on Tuesday morning, killing one student and injuring two others, according to police officers. The suspect was apprehended later that day, they said.

Heavily armed police fenced off the Viertola school, an educational institution in the city of Vantaa, near Helsinki, which includes lower and upper secondary schools and serves over 800 pupils. Officers were notified of the gunshot shortly after 9:00 a.m. local time.

The chief of Police Ilkka Koskimäki of the Eastern Uusimaa Police Department told a news conference that one of the students died immediately after being shot. The other two were critically injured, he stated.

The weapon used in the incident was a registered handgun owned by the suspect's relative, stated Detective Inspector Kimmo Hyvärinen. Authorities urged residents in the neighbourhood to avoid the school and stay indoors, avoiding allowing strangers to enter.

The school has two sites and offers special education lessons.

Less than an hour after the incident, the suspect was arrested with a weapon in his possession, in the Helsinki region, police said.

He admitted to the shooting during an initial police hearing, but there is no news on the motive, officials said. They further stated that the case is being examined as a murder and two attempted murders.

In postings on X (formerly Twitter), Finnish President Alexander Stubb and Prime Minister Petteri Orpo expressed their sympathies to the victims' families, stating that they were startled by the shooting.

As the minimum age of criminal accountability in Finland is 15, hence the suspect cannot be legally detained. Police can only question a suspect under the age of 15 before handing them over to Finland's child protection authorities. In recent decades, Finland has had two tragic school shootings.

According to Finnish Interior Minister Mari Rantanen, the Nordic country of 5.6 million people has about 1.5 million licensed guns and approximately 430,000 licence holders.

Hunting and gun ownership are long standing traditions in the sparsely populated northern European country. Local police agencies are responsible for granting permits for standard guns.

Following the school shootings in 2007 and 2008, Finland tightened its gun rules by raising the minimum age for firearm ownership and providing police more authority to conduct background checks on applicants for a gun licence.

Video Credit: Daily Record / Youtube

Finland: One child dead and two severely injured after school shooting


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