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Finland: One dead in primary school shooting

April 2, 2024

The police said the victims of the shooting incident in the city of Vantaa were children, one of whom was later confirmed to have died. The suspect, also a minor, was later arrested.

Police officers operate at the Viertola comprehensive school in Vantaa, Finland, on April 2, 2024.
Finnish police said the suspect in the school shooting was apprehended Image: Markku Ulander/REUTERS

Three 12-year-olds were injured in a school shooting incident in Finland early on Tuesday, Finnish police said, adding that the suspect, also a minor, was later arrested.

"All those involved in the shooting incident are minors," the police said. They were all 12 years old, the police later specified.

One of the three was later confirmed to have died. Police said the suspect had admitted to the shooting.

What do we know about the shooting incident?

The shooting occurred at the Viertola school in the city of Vantaa, north of the capital Helsinki. The school has some 800 students.

"The immediate danger is over," the Viertola school's principal Sari Laasila told the Reuters news agency.

Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo said the incident was "deeply shocking," adding that he was closely following the situation and awaiting updates.

"The day started in a horrifying way. There has been a shooting incident at the Viertola school in Vantaa. I can only imagine the pain and worry that many families are experiencing at the moment. The suspected perpetrator has been caught,"
Interior Minister Mari Rantanen said on X, formerly Twitter.

Finland's gun policies in focus

Finland's population of around 5.5 million includes some 430,000 gun license holders, with more than 1.5 million licensed firearms owned by hunters and gun enthusiasts, ministry figures showed.

The country tightened its gun legislation in 2010, following two back-to-back school shootings in 2007 and 2008 which, combined, left nearly 20 killed, including students.

The amended legislation introduced an aptitude test for all firearms license applicants and increased the age limit for applicants from 18 to 20.

rmt/rc (AFP, Reuters)