Cops: 12-Year-Old School Shooter Claims Bullying

One student was killed, 2 seriously injured after suspect opened fire in southern Finland, per police
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 2, 2024 5:42 AM CDT
Updated Apr 3, 2024 9:40 AM CDT
One Dead, 2 Injured in Finnish School Shooting
Police officers in Vantaa, Finland, on Tuesday. Finnish police say a number of people were wounded in a shooting at a school outside Helsinki and a suspect was detained.   (Markku Ulander/Lehtikuva via AP)
UPDATE Apr 3, 2024 9:40 AM CDT

During Finland's day of mourning after the school shooting that left one student dead and two others seriously injured, more details are emerging on the 12-year-old suspected shooter. Officials there said Wednesday that the alleged shooter is a sixth grader who said he'd been bullied, reports the AP. "The suspect had transferred to Viertola school at the beginning of this year," noted a statement from the Eastern Uusimaa Police Department. The suspect's "revolver-like handgun" was registered to an unnamed relative, authorities say. Police note that the deceased student is a male who died instantly at the scene of the Tuesday shooting. The other two victims, both female and 12 years old, remain hospitalized, per the BBC. Meanwhile, suspects under the age of 15 can't be technically arrested—only questioned by police, then handed over to child welfare authorities.

Apr 2, 2024 5:42 AM CDT

A 12-year-old student opened fire at a secondary school in southern Finland and shot three other students on Tuesday, police said, per the AP. Authorities later announced that one of the wounded students had died, while the other two suffered serious injuries, reports ABC News and the AP. 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 of Helsinki, after receiving a call about a shooting at 9:08am local time. Police said both the suspect and the wounded were 12 years old. The suspect was arrested in the Helsinki area later Tuesday with a handgun in his possession, police said.

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, an 18-year-old student armed with a semi-automatic pistol opened fire on the premises of Jokela High School in Tuusula in 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, in southwestern Finland, before fatally shooting himself.

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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.

(More school shooting stories.)

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