Shooting in Finnish school, one child killed, two injured, minor suspect arrested


One child died and two others were seriously injured in a shooting incident at a primary school in Finland. According to reports, three 12-year-old children were shot at a school outside the Finnish capital on Tuesday and one of the victims later died. Police said a 12-year-old fellow student has been taken into custody on suspicion of attack.

A police spokesperson said that the victims were taken to the hospital after the firing incident. At the school, a building was surrounded by the police. At the same time, parents were taking their children from another school building hundreds of meters (yards) away. Police said there are no other suspects at this time.

An unverified video circulating on social media showed two policemen kneeling next to the suspected attacker, who was lying face down on the sidewalk. No details regarding the identities of the children or the condition of the two surviving victims were immediately released. The shooting took place at Virtola School in the Helsinki suburb of Vantaa, which has about 800 students from first to ninth grade and a staff of 90, according to the municipality.

Anja Hitamiz, mother of an 11-year-old student, said she received a message from her daughter after the shooting. He said, his daughter had told him that they were locked in a dark classroom, they were not allowed to talk on the phone but could send messages. He said that his daughter was scared.

Prime Minister Petteri Orpo expressed grief

Interior Minister Marie Rantanen said on Twitter that the day had started on a terrible note. I can only imagine the pain and anxiety that many families are experiencing at this time. The suspected criminal has been caught. Prime Minister Petteri Orpo said the shooting was extremely shocking. "My thoughts are with the victims, their loved ones and other students and staff," he said on Twitter.

Shooting incidents in Finland

  • Previous school shootings in Finland have focused attention on gun policy. In 2007, Pekka-Erik Auvinen shot and killed six students, the school nurse, the principal and himself with a handgun at Jokela High School near Helsinki.
  • A year later, in 2008, another student, Matti Saari, opened fire at a vocational school in Kauhajoki, in northwest Finland. He killed nine students and a male staff member before turning the gun on himself.
  • Finland tightened its gun laws in 2010 and introduced a qualifying exam for all license applicants. The age limit for applicants was also changed from 18 to 20. There are more than 1.5 million licensed firearms and approximately 430,000 license holders in the country of 5.6 million people.