HomeTop HeadlinesOne Dead, Two Injured in School Shooting

One Dead, Two Injured in School Shooting

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On Tuesday, April 2, a school shooting at the Jokiranta school, part of the Viertola educational complex in Vantaa, Finland, near Helsinki resulted in the death of a 12-year-old student and left two other 12-year-olds seriously wounded. 

The suspect, a 12-year-old student from the same school, fled on foot but was captured later by the police with a handgun in his possession, which was later identified as a registered firearm licensed to a relative of the suspect. 

Authorities have confirmed that the boy admitted to the act during an initial police interview.

The incident prompted an immediate response from local law enforcement on Tuesday morning. Given the suspect’s age, the child cannot be formally arrested under Finnish law due to being under the age of criminal responsibility. The suspect will instead be managed by child welfare authorities following the conclusion of the police investigation. 

Over 800 students and 90 staff members were reported to be present at the school, which caters to a wide age range of pupils.

The Finnish government has been left in shock by the incident. Prime Minister, Petteri Orpo expressed his deep sorrow, offering condolences to the victims, their families, and the entire school community. President Alexander Stubb wished strength for recovery to those injured. 

The case is currently being investigated as one count of murder and two counts of attempted murder, underlining the gravity of the incident and its profound impact on the nation.

The shooting recalls the painful memories of the 2007 and 2008 school shootings in Finland, which had previously led to significant reforms in the country’s gun laws, including the raising of the minimum age for firearm licenses and the implementation of more stringent background checks. These changes were aimed at preventing such tragedies.

There are over 1.5 million licensed firearms and about 430,000 license holders in Finland. Gun laws in Finland allow gun ownership from the age 15 with parental permission. The shooting led to calls for reviewing gun legislation and increased measures to support youth mental health, coming years after previous school shootings in Finland that tightened some gun laws.

Education Minister, Anna-Maja Henriksson expressed devastation over the event, highlighting the irreplaceable loss of young life and the implications for the broader school community. 

In response, a national day of mourning was declared for April 4, as a gesture of the country’s collective grief and solidarity with the victims and their families.

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