Update: Tragic shooting in Finland

Finland in mourning following school tragedy

Finnish flags flying at half mast. Credit: FinGovernment/X

Finland is in mourning following the news of the devastating school shooting incident in which one of the victims has since died.

Finnish Police have revealed further details surrounding the tragic event on Tuesday, April 2, in which a 12-year-old student fatally shot another pupil, also aged 12, and seriously injured two others.

Today, April 3, the Finnish Government announced on Twitter/X: ‘Government agencies and public bodies will fly the flag at half-mast on Wednesday 3 April to honour the victims of the school shooting in Vantaa.’

Swift police response and victim care

The incident took place following the students return from the Easter break. according to the BBC, Tomi Salosyrja, the head of the local police force, revealed that officers reached the scene within nine minutes of the emergency call, at 09:17 am.

‘One of the victims died almost immediately at this location in the school,’ Salosyrja said. The two other victims were rushed to the hospital, where they are fighting for their lives.

Detention of the suspect

The young assailant attempted to flee as law enforcement arrived but was apprehended ‘in a calm manner’ in Helsinki’s northern Siltamaki district by 09:58 am

Reportedly, the suspect was restrained near a road, just 4km from the scene. Police confirmed the seizure of the firearm used in the shooting and the suspect’s confession to the crime.

Under Finnish law, the child, being under the age of 15, faces no criminal charges but will be placed under social services’ care following further interrogation.

National reaction

The incident has ignited a nationwide dialogue on youth mental health and gun access. Prime Minister Petteri Orpo expressed deep sorrow, stressing the urgent need to address mental health issues among the youth.

President Alexander Stubb and Education Minister Anna-Maja Henriksson also voiced their concerns, with an emotional Henriksson emphasising the tragedy of a child ‘who will never come home from school again.’

Gun ownership in Finland

A survey conducted in 2018, by the Small Arms Survey, revealed that Finland are a surprising eighth in the list of civilian gun-owning countries.

Finland has a population of 5.6 million with 430,000 licenced firearm holders and government figures say that there are over 1.5 million firearms currently in circulation.

This tragedy has not only left a community in mourning but also reignited concerns over Finland’s gun laws and the broader issue of school safety. As the nation prepares for a day of mourning, questions are raised  about preventing such incidents and children’s safety.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.