Gunman opens fire at Finnish school

2012-03-30 14:02
Emergency vehicles stand outside a secondary school in Orivesi, Finland. (Lehtikuva, Mika Kanerva/ AP)

Emergency vehicles stand outside a secondary school in Orivesi, Finland. (Lehtikuva, Mika Kanerva/ AP)

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Helsinki - A gunman opened fire at a crowded school and an office building in southern Finland on Friday before he was arrested by police, officials said.

No one was injured in the school attack but police said one person was slightly wounded in the office building attack.

The gunman, in his early 20s, fired four shots through the door of a classroom in the secondary school in the town of Orivesi, northwest of Helsinki, officials said.

"A man fired four times with a gun through a classroom door on the third floor of a secondary school," Pauliina Pikka, who is in charge of education at Orivesi town hall, said. "The gunman was taken by police."

Police said the gunman had earlier fired shots at an office building about a kilometre from the school, slightly wounding one person in the arm.

"The shooter was the same in both cases," local police said in a statement.

Motive unknown

"All of the pupils were inside the classroom and no one was injured," Pikka said after the Friday morning shooting.

"The students remained in the classroom where they were questioned by police," she said.

Orivesi police chief Jari Kinnunen said: "The incident is over and no one has been wounded."

The police statement said the man was born in 1989 and lives in Orivesi.

"The motives are not known at this point," it said, adding that he had not been a pupil at the school.

Finland has had two school massacres in recent years.

In November 2007, 18-year-old Pekka Eric Auvinen shot dead eight people in a high school in Jokela, north of Helsinki, before turning the gun on himself.

Less than a year later, in September 2008, 22-year-old culinary arts student Matti Saari killed 10 people in a classroom in the small town of Kauhajoki before committing suicide.

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