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Vantaa School Shooting: 3 Children Injured, 12-Year-Old Suspect Arrested

Police in the Finnish city of Vantaa reported that three 12-year-old children were injured in a shooting incident at Viertola school. The incident occurred before 09:00 local time on Tuesday, prompting authorities to advise local residents to stay indoors.

According to police, the suspect, also 12 years old, fled the scene but was later apprehended. Viertola school, which accommodates 800 students and employs 90 staff members, implemented safety measures following the incident, with children instructed to remain in their classrooms.

The shooting took place as students returned to classes after the Easter weekend, which is in line with the schedule of other Finnish schools.

Police reported that the suspect fled the scene after the shooting and was later apprehended “in a calm manner” on the opposite side of a local river in a northern district of Helsinki. Authorities confirmed that the suspect was in possession of a firearm, which was confiscated upon his arrest.

Details regarding the extent of the injuries sustained by the three children have not yet been provided by police.

Prime Minister Petteri Orpo expressed profound distress over the shooting and extended his thoughts to the victims, their families, and the school community. Viertola school caters to students aged seven to 15, encompassing both primary and middle school levels across two separate sites.

Following the incident, concerned parents gathered at the Jokiranta site, where pupils aged 9-12 attend classes.

Initially, police indicated that all individuals involved in the shooting were 13 years old, but later revised their ages downward to 12.

Vantaa, Finland’s fourth-largest city, is home to approximately 240,000 residents.

Finland has experienced two deadly school shootings within a span of months, occurring in 2007 and 2008, which led to the implementation of stricter gun control laws.

Despite these regulations, Finland is recognized for its culture of hunting and firearm enthusiasts, boasting 430,000 licensed gun owners among its population of 5.5 million, according to government data. There is no set limit on the number of firearms an individual can possess, and the interior ministry reports that over 1.5 million guns are in circulation.

In 2007, an 18-year-old student tragically shot and killed seven classmates and his school principal in Tuusula. The following year, another student fatally shot nine fellow students and a teacher in Kauhajoki.


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