Fatal Shooting at Finnish School: 12-Year-Old Victim, Suspect in Custody (UPDATED)

EU | April 2, 2024, Tuesday // 11:46|  views


In a tragic incident at Viertola school in Vantaa, Finland, three 12-year-old children were shot on Tuesday, with the suspected shooter, taken into custody by police. According to Reuters, the victims were rushed to the hospital, although further details about their condition were not immediately available.

Later in the day, Finnish authorities announced that a 12-year-old boy lost his life and the two others sustained serious injuries.

All individuals involved in the incident are Finnish nationals. The shooter, previously detained, utilized a firearm for which the permit was issued to a relative.

The assailant, who is under the age of 15, cannot be held in custody due to legal constraints but will be transferred to social services for further intervention.

Viertola school, located in a suburb of the capital Helsinki, caters to approximately 800 pupils from first to ninth grade and has a staff of 90 people, as per information from the local municipality. The principal of Viertola school, confirmed to Reuters that "the immediate danger is over," but declined to elaborate on the incident.

Interior Minister Mari Rantanen expressed shock and concern, stating, "The day started in a horrifying way." Rantanen emphasized the gravity of the situation, acknowledging the anguish experienced by families affected by the shooting. However, she reassured the public that the suspected perpetrator had been apprehended.

Finland has grappled with previous school shootings, which have prompted scrutiny of the nation's gun policy. In 2007, Pekka-Eric Auvinen perpetrated a school shooting at Jokela High School, resulting in the deaths of six students, the school nurse, the principal, and himself. Just a year later, in 2008, Matti Saari carried out a similar attack at a vocational school in Kauhajoki, claiming the lives of nine students and one staff member before taking his own life.

Following these tragic events, Finland implemented stricter gun legislation in 2010, introducing mandatory aptitude tests for all firearms license applicants and raising the age limit for applicants to 20. Despite these measures, Finland remains a country with a significant number of licensed firearms, with over 1.5 million registered firearms and approximately 430,000 license holders in a population of 5.6 million. Hunting and target shooting are popular pastimes in the country.

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Tags: Finland, school, shooting, children


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