12-year-old opens fire in Finnish school, injuring three: police

Published April 2, 2024
Police officers and police vehicles operate at the Viertola comprehensive school in Vantaa, Finland, on April 2. — Reuters
Police officers and police vehicles operate at the Viertola comprehensive school in Vantaa, Finland, on April 2. — Reuters

A 12-year-old opened fire on Tuesday at a school outside the Finnish capital Helsinki injuring three other children, police said, adding that the attacker was in custody.

The school in Vantaa has around 800 pupils and 90 staff. Children in grades one to nine, or aged seven to 15, attend the school.

“There are people injured in the shooting incident”, police said shortly after 10am (7am GMT).

Police were alerted to the scene at 9:08am and later specified that the suspect and the injured were all 12 years old.

The city of Vantaa’s crisis group was activated following the shooting, local media reported. Images from the scene showed a large number of police at the school.

 Police officers talk to family members of pupils at the Viertola comprehensive school in Vantaa, Finland on April 2. — Reuters
Police officers talk to family members of pupils at the Viertola comprehensive school in Vantaa, Finland on April 2. — Reuters

In an update around 11:30am, police said the suspect, who was carrying a gun at the time, had been arrested in an area of Helsinki in a “calm manner”. Parents of pupils attending the school told the media that the shooting had occurred in a classroom.

Police urged the public to stay away from the area and remain indoors. “Do not open the door to strangers,” they said in a statement.

Finnish Interior Minister Mari Rantanen said in a post on X that the day had started in a “shocking way”.

“I can only imagine the pain and worry that many families are experiencing at the moment,” she said.

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