Teens killed in Finland shooting spree

Police arrest 18-year-old after two people of same age killed and seven others wounded by rooftop gunman.

Police find rifles after shooting
A policeman collects a weapon from a rooftop where a gunman opened fire on passers-by early on Saturday[Reuters]

Police in southern Finland have arrested an 18-year-old man following a shooting spree that left two teenagers dead and seven others wounded.

The gunman opened fire on people from a low rooftop in central Hyvinkaa in the early hours of Saturday morning killing a woman and man, both 18-years-old, said Markku Tuominen, an officer in charge of the investigation.

A police officer was also injured after arriving at the scene of the crime following alerts to police.

The suspect, who was wearing camouflage clothing, was detained following the attack without resisting arrest, Tuominen said.

“The man was found with two weapons, including a hunting rifle,” he said, adding that police knew of no possible motive pending an investigation.

Finland has one of the highest gun ownership rates in the world, but low rates of gun-related violence. Finnish criminologists say gun crime is so rare in Finland because most of the country’s firearms are hunting weapons.

In Finland, anyone aged 15 or older can acquire a gun license for sports or hunting purposes.

School shootings

In recent years, Finland has also seen at least three school shootings.

Two months ago, a 23-year-old gunman wounded the father of his former girlfriend in an office building before firing several shots through a classroom door in southern Finland. No one was hurt at the junior high school, and the attacker quickly surrendered to police. 

In 2008, a culinary student killed nine fellow students and a teacher before shooting himself at a vocational school in the western town of Kauhajoki.

In 2007, an 18-year-old killed six fellow students, a nurse and the head teacher at a high school in Tuusula, southern Finland.

After those deadly attacks, authorities took steps to improve safety at schools, including installing surveillance cameras and locks on classroom doors and training staff to deal with shootings.

Source: News Agencies