'Something broken in Finland'

2012-05-27 08:17

Helsinki - Police arrested on Saturday an 18-year-old man in camouflage fatigues suspected of killing two students in a shooting targeting restaurants packed with teenagers in southern Finland.

The gunman opened fire around 01:53 from a rooftop in Hyvinkaa, a city about 50km north of Helsinki, aiming at two restaurants where many young people had gathered outside, police said.

The motives for the attack were not yet clear.

Finland has in recent years been hit by several cases of deadly shootings by teenagers, and President Sauli Niinisto said the killing sprees showed that "something has broken in society".

An 18-year-old woman was killed on the spot in Saturday's attack while an 19-year-old man later died from his injuries. Both were students at a local technical college.

Sudden shooting

Another seven people were hurt including a 23-year-old police officer who was wounded as she left her vehicle after arriving at the scene, a police spokesperson said.

"Shooting erupted suddenly," Jani Kuronen, a man in his 20s, told public television YLE. "People starting running. One person had a horrible wound on the face. I called an ambulance."

Another witness, Santeri Silvenoinen, said he heard the gunshots and "then looking around me, I saw a woman lying on the ground and I started running."

Police did not identify the suspect, but said he was dressed in camouflage fatigues. He was arrested near Hyvinkaa, a city of 45 000 people, without putting up any resistance.

Three firearms including a hunting rifle were seized from the suspect, who was not in possession of any gun permits, police said, adding that he had no criminal record.

Motive unknown

Asked about the gunman's motives, police spokesperson Satu Koivo said an investigation was ongoing, adding: "For the moment, it is not possible to confirm anything."

The spokesperson told AFP however that police did not believe that the gunman knew his victims.

Hyvinkaa mayor Raimo Lahti told YLE that the whole town was in shock.

On 23 September 2008, a student who went on a murderous rampage at a school in Kauhajoki in the southwest killed 10 people before turning his gun on himself.

In a similar incident on 7 November 2007 at Jokela, not far from Hyvinkaa, an 18-year-old killed seven classmates and the headmistress then shot himself in the head.

  • colin.dovey - 2012-05-27 08:56

    What I find perplexing is that the standard of education in Finland is: "For thirty years Finland has been tweaking the educational system until results were stellar. In spite of placing top in the world for education, the system is constantly being evaluated and improved. What does Finland do that other nations do not do?" Yet we seem to be increasingly get this sort of behaviour......?

      mysehnsucht - 2012-05-27 09:49

      If you want to relate this to the education system, it may have to do with the increasing pressures. However, 3 incidents in 5 years in a country with a very low crime rate is not an epidemic.

  • veritas.odium.paret - 2012-05-27 11:44

    Maybe that kid listens to Black Metal? Finland does have some mean bands and impressive metal scene... But, I'm just kidding, I've been a fan for 5 years now and I havent killed anybody yet (and dont intend to). Maybe THEY JUST CRAZY like Chris Rock once said in his Bigger & Blacker stand up...

  • veldt66 - 2012-05-27 12:00

    In europe people like this you get them from time to time""""maybe its lack of Sunshine in Finland

  • pages:
  • 1