Finnish police reveal school shooter’s motive — RT World News

Officers say a teenage boy shot and killed a classmate, wounded two others, and was being bullied

Finnish police said on Wednesday that bullying prompted a 12-year-old boy to shoot up his school near Helsinki. The boy killed one of his classmates and wounded two others in the country's first school shooting in more than a decade.

The shooting occurred on Tuesday morning at a middle school in the city of Vantaa, north of Helsinki. The teenage suspect was arrested after shooting a classmate, killing him and wounding two others. All the victims, like the shooter, were 12 years old.

“It has been confirmed that the motive behind the act was bullying.” The country's national police force said in a statement the next day. He added, “The suspect said during the investigations that he was the target of bullying, and this information was also confirmed in the initial investigation conducted by the police.” The statement continued.

The suspect, who police say was transferred to the school last year, was found outside the building on Tuesday carrying a gun. After the shooting but before officers showed up, he allegedly used the weapon to threaten students who were on their way to a different school.

Including Tuesday's incident, Finland has recorded only four school shootings in its history. The worst of these incidents occurred in 2008, when a university student killed nine students and a teacher at a technical university in the town of Kauhayuki, before turning his weapon – a semi-automatic pistol – on himself. One year ago, a high school student shot dead six students, the school nurse and his principal in the town of Jokela with a similar weapon. The attacker also committed suicide after going on a rampage.

The Finnish government responded to the two shootings by raising the minimum age for firearm ownership to 18 and requiring gun buyers to undergo background checks. However, hunting is a popular pastime in Finland, and 15-year-olds can still obtain a permit to legally use other people's firearms with their parents' permission.

Although Finland has the world's eighth-highest rate of civilian gun ownership, gun homicides are rare. According to the United Nations DataFinland's gun homicide rate is 0.09 deaths per 100,000 people, almost five times lower than its rate in neighboring Sweden (0.44 per 100,000).

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