Finland mourns 12-year old boy killed in school shooting

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HELSINKI: Flags flew at half-mast across Finland on Wednesday (Apr 3) as the country mourned a 12-year-old boy who was shot dead at school, with police saying a fellow sixth-grader was their only suspect.

Two other pupils at Viertola school, both girls also aged 12, were severely wounded in Tuesday's attack and were undergoing treatment in hospital, police said in a statement.

"The police have a preliminary understanding of the motive for the act, but for investigative reasons, it cannot be confirmed yet," police said.

They said the suspect had admitted to the shooting during an initial investigation but no one has yet spoken in public on the suspect's behalf. He was put in the care of social services because a child cannot be remanded in custody.

After word spread of the shooting on Tuesday morning, anxious parents waited for hours outside the school as teachers kept classroom doors shut to protect their pupils while police searched the buildings.

The suspect was apprehended some 4km away carrying a revolver, police said.

The suspect and the deceased boy were both Finnish citizens, they said. One of the injured girls was also Finnish, while the third victim was a dual citizen of Finland and Kosovo.

A view of candles, flowers and other memorabilia at the Viertola school, following a shooting incident at the school, in Vantaa, Finland, Apr 3, 2024. (Photo: Lehtikuva/Jussi Nukari via REUTERS)
A view shows police tape isolating the Viertola school...
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