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One Child Reported Dead, Two Critically Wounded In School Shooting In Finland

A 12-year-old suspected of shooting up a school in Finland has been apprehended.

In a heartbreaking incident, a child has died and two others have been seriously wounded in a shooting at Viertola school in Vantaa, Finland, just north of the capital Helsinki.

Police revealed that all three victims, as well as the suspect shooter, were just 12 years old.

The shooting reportedly occurred within a classroom, sending shockwaves through the local community and the entire nation. Authorities swiftly responded to the scene, arriving at the school within nine minutes of the incident being reported at 09:17 local time (7:17 WAT). Despite their prompt arrival, one child tragically succumbed to their injuries at the scene.

The suspect, also aged 12, fled the school as soon as police arrived but was later detained “in a calm manner” in the Siltamaki district of Helsinki.

Police recovered a firearm from the suspect, who confessed to carrying out the shooting during an initial interview. An investigation into murder and attempted murder has been launched.

The shooting has left Finland in mourning, with Prime Minister Petteri Orpo expressing deep sorrow and extending condolences to the victims’ families and the school community.

Amid the unfolding tragedy, there was initial confusion regarding the ages of those involved, as police initially stated that all individuals were 13 years old. However, this information was later corrected, with authorities revising the ages down to 12, highlighting the chaotic nature of the situation.

As news of the shooting spread, concerned parents rushed to the school to pick up their children. Viertola school, which has 800 students aged seven to 16 and around 90 staff members, remains cordoned off as investigations continue.

This tragic incident has reignited painful memories of past school shootings in Finland. In 2007, an 18-year-old student fatally shot eight people in Jokela, while in 2008, another student killed 10 people in Kauhajoki.

These events prompted legislative changes aimed at tightening gun control measures, but Finland still grapples with its status as a nation of gun enthusiasts, with millions of firearms in circulation among its population.

Ozioma Samuel-Ugwuezi

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