Eleven dead in second Finnish school massacre within a year [UPDATE: Police interviewed the suicide killer yesterday!]

[UPDATE, 18:22 GMT+02:00: The shooter, 22-year-old Matti Juhani Saari, has died of his head injuries in hospital around five o’clock in the afternoon, bringing the death tool to eleven.]

[UPDATE, 15:58 GMT+02:00: The shooter is 22-year-old Matti Juhani Saari,
a student at the vocational school in Kauhajoki. After the shooting
today, several students at other sites of the school have received
threatening SMS messages.]

[UPDATE, 15:20 GMT+02:00: A YLE news reporter, live at the Finnish government’s press conference which started at 15:00 hrs. local time, just told on TV that police had interviewed the Kauhajoki killer on Monday – yesterday – in connection with video material he had submitted to YouTube. However, the police had found no reason to confiscate his hand gun. The shooter had received his fire arms license last month.]

Less than a year since the Jokela highschool massacre, at least three nine eleven people, including the shooter himself, were killed today in a shooting incident at a vocational school in Kauhajoki, Western Finland. One or two people are in hospital with serious injuries.

According to first media reports, the death toll may be significantly higher. Police confirmed to have disarmed the shooter and that he had also shot at himself.

The Finnish national daily Helsingin Sanomat reports:

“(…) apparently a 20-year-old man dressed in black
entered the school carrying a large bag and opened fire on students at
around 11 a.m. on Tuesday morning. An eyewitness spoke of many rounds
of automatic fire in a ground-floor classroom containing adult students.

(…) In a grim reminder of what happened in Jokela in
November last year, reports are already surfacing of videos on YouTube
allegedly depicting a young man from Kauhajoki firing pistols at a
shooting range.

A similar connection was made with the young man who opened fire at
Jokela High School, killing eight people including the school’s
principal before turning the gun on himself.

(…) the building is also said to be on fire, and whilst all pupils have been evacuated from the school (…)”

The Associated Press reports:

“(…) Finnish police say the have disarmed a gunman at a school for adults in western Finland after he opened fire on students. (…)”

A video account on YouTube which might have been created by the shooter, at http://www.youtube.com/user/Wumpscut86 , has been removed from the service. The URL redirects to another user generated video service, NowPublic.com.

YLE, the Finnnish public broadcaster, reports:

“(…)
Kari
Saarinen
at the Seinäjoki central hospital told YLE there are
presumably more dead than wounded. Students that sustained
injuries in the head and chest are being treated at Tampere
University Hospital and the central hospital in Vaasa. The
daily regional newspaper Ilkka reports that dozens are injured. The tabloid newspaper Iltalehti says that police believe there may be a bomb in the building. (…)

Bloomberg adds context:

“(…) Six high school pupils and two staff members were killed in a
November shooting at Finland’s Jokela High School, the deadliest
peacetime attack in the country’s history.
Finland has the most guns per capita in Europe, a total of 1.8 million
firearms outside of army use in a country of 5.3 million people,
according to Amnesty International. That is the third-highest rate in
the world after the U.S. and Yemen. Any adult can own a gun if it is
registered with a shooting club. (…)”

A BBC report adds with attribution to the Associated Press:

“(…) In the wake of the 2007 attack, Finland’s government pledged to raise
the minimum age for buying guns after Auvinen’s attack. But the country
has a long tradition of hunting and weapons-bearing, with about 1.6
million firearms in private hands (…)”

According to this FT.com piece, the mayor of Kauhajoki told Reuters that the shooter has killed himself:

“(…) ”He is no longer free. He has killed himself,” Kauhajoki Mayor Antti Rantakokko told Reuters. ”Several are dead,” said Rantakokko, adding he did not know the exact number. ”The situation is over now.” (…)”

According to the above mentioned government press conference at 15:00 hrs., the shooter was still alive, but his condition is critical due to serious head injuries.

in the mean time, a video has appeared on Facebook, which allegedly was captured from YouTube and previously submitted by the shooter.

I will collect bookmarks of Kauhajoki news coverage at http://delicious.com/JosSchuurmans/Kauhajoki+shooting

Advertisements