Finland school shooting: 12-year-old suspect detained, three students injured

In a shocking incident at a Finnish school, three 12-year-old students were shot and injured on Tuesday, with police swiftly detaining a suspect of the same age. A police spokesperson informed Reuters that the victims were receiving medical treatment, though additional information was not immediately provided.

Publication: 02.04.2024 - 11:47
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The shooting occurred at Viertola School in Vantaa, a suburb of Helsinki. The school, which caters to approximately 800 students from grades one through nine and employs 90 staff members, is now at the center of national attention.

Reportedly, the 12 year old male student attacked the school with an unidentified handgun. Police is investigating how the minor acquired the weapon, and if the weapon is registered or not.

Viertola School's principal, Sari Laasila, assured the public that the immediate threat had been neutralized, opting not to elaborate on the event. Interior Minister Mari Rantanen reacted to the tragedy on X, stating, "The day started in a horrifying way with a shooting incident at Viertola School in Vantaa. I can only imagine the pain and worry that many families are feeling right now. The suspected perpetrator has been apprehended."

This incident brings back memories of previous school shootings that have prompted intense scrutiny of Finland's gun policies. In 2007, the Jokela High School massacre near Helsinki saw Pekka-Eric Auvinen kill eight people, including six students, with a handgun before taking his own life. The following year, Matti Saari committed a similar act at a vocational school in Kauhajoki, northwest Finland, resulting in ten deaths.

In response to these tragedies, Finland revised its gun laws in 2010, implementing an aptitude test for firearms license applicants and raising the minimum age for license holders to 20 from 18. With over 1.5 million licensed firearms among roughly 430,000 license holders in a population of 5.6 million, Finland is a country where hunting and target shooting are widespread hobbies.

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