Horror Finland School Shooting Claims Child's Life, 2 Wounded

Police have reported a devastating event at a Finnish school, where one child succumbed to injuries while two others sustained serious wounds in a shooting incident.

Earlier statements from the police indicated that the trio of victims, each aged 12, were involved, with authorities also apprehending a 12-year-old suspect in connection with the incident. Parents, speaking to Finnish media, recounted that the shooting unfolded within a classroom at Viertola school, situated north of Helsinki’s capital.

Law enforcement officials reported their rapid response to the school incident, arriving within nine minutes at 09:17 local time (06:17 GMT), and promptly attending to the three victims. Regrettably, one of the children passed away at the scene, as stated by the authorities.

Upon the arrival of the police, the suspect fled the scene promptly but was eventually apprehended “peacefully” in the northern Siltamaki district of Helsinki’s capital at 10:00. Law enforcement officials stated that the individual was found in possession of a firearm, which was confiscated, and during initial questioning, the suspect confessed to carrying out the shooting.

Authorities have initiated an investigation into charges of murder and attempted murder in response to the tragic incident.

They have now opened an investigation into murder and attempted murder.

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In common with other Finnish schools, children had just returned to classes in Vantaa, just outside Helsinki, after the long Easter weekend.

Children were told to stay in their classrooms after the attack, public broadcaster YLE reported. Viertola school has 800 students aged seven to 16 of both primary and middle-school age on two separate sites, with some 90 staff. The shooting took place at at the school’s Jokiranta site where pupils aged 9-13 are taught.

At first, law enforcement stated that all those involved were 13 years old, but subsequently adjusted their ages to 12.

Upon hearing about the shooting, parents flocked to the school to collect their children, despite the fact that the vicinity where the incident unfolded remained closed off. Finland experienced two harrowing school shootings within a few months in 2007 and 2008.

In 2007, an 18-year-old student shockingly took the lives of six classmates, the school nurse, and the principal in the quaint town of Jokela, situated north of Helsinki. Then, the subsequent year, another student utilized a semi-automatic rifle to fatally shoot nine classmates and a teacher at a polytechnic in the western town of Kauhajoki.

Following the shootings, lawmakers enacted stricter gun laws, requiring gun owners to be a minimum of 18 years old. Nonetheless, individuals over the age of 15 can still seek permission to use someone else’s firearm.

Finland is recognized for its strong hunting tradition and enthusiastic gun culture, with 430,000 licensed gun owners among its 5.5 million residents, according to official figures. Notably, there are no limitations on the number of firearms one can own, with the interior ministry reporting over 1.5 million guns in circulation.

Africa Today News, New York

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