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School shooting in Finland: suspected child was victim of harassment

The 12-year-old child suspected of for having killedé shot and injured a classmate seriously injured two others in a school in Finland, explained his act by the harassment which he says he suffered. victim.

During interrogations with police, the suspect said he had been the target of harassment, which was confirmed by the preliminary investigation, police said in a statement on Wednesday.

The young person was transferred at the start of the year to this school in Vantaa, which accommodates 800 students aged 7 to 15 spread over two sites north of the capital Helsinki .

Equipped with a revolver-type firearm belonging to one of his relatives, he opened fire Tuesday morning, killing a boy in his class of the same age as him and seriously injuring two girls – one a Finnish citizen and the other of dual Finnish and Kosovar nationality.

As he fled, he then threatened, still with his firearm, students who were going to another school, police said Wednesday.

– Listening unit –

The boy will not be incarcerated because he is under 15 and cannot be found criminally responsible, but he will be handed over to social services of the country.

In the wake of the attack, Prime Minister Petteri Orpo said he was “deeply shocked” by this event, adding that his thoughts were with the victims , to their parents, to other students and to teachers.

“In the coming days, we must be there for children and young people, offer them words of comfort and show them that we care about them,” he said. “They may be afraid and ask questions. It is important that we talk about the incident in our homes.”

A psychological counseling unit for parents and children was implemented by the city on Wednesday.

“We are now focusing on supporting” children, Vantaa city deputy mayor Katri Kalske told AFP.

The incident is discussed with students at all of the city's schools in an “age-appropriate” manner. The local church will also provide support to those affected.

Flags on public buildings and institutions were flown at half-mast for the day in honor of the victims. The Interior Ministry encouraged the entire country to join in the mourning.

In front of the school, several people braved the snow to come and leave flowers, candles and stuffed animals and observe a moment of contemplation, according to an AFP journalist on site.

– Violence between children –

“(Parents) must be with their children and listen (…) hear what they say”, reacted to AFP Tuula Jouskari, a 70-year-old resident.

“We have a good education and (good) schools. I don't understand why this little boy (. ..) is in such a bad situation.”

On a global level, it is very unusual for a child this young to be suspected of a crime of such a scale, explained Elina Pekkarinen, Children's Rights Defender in Finland, to the STT news agency.

“For years, (we have been repeating) that we must take violence between children in society seriously,” she lamented. Acts of violence, particularly among children under 15, have been increasing for several years, according to Ms. Pekkarinen.

The Nordic country has experienced similar tragedies in

In November 2007, an 18-year-old man opened fire in a school (middle and high school) in Jokela, about fifty kilometers north of the capital Helsinki, killing eight people: the principal, the nurse and six students. The attacker committed suicide after the attack.

School shooting in Finland: suspected child was victim of harassment

People gathered in front of the school in Vantaa to pay tribute to the victims, April 2, 2024 © Lehtikuva – Roni Rekomaa

A year later, in September 2008, a shooting took place in a vocational school in Kauhajoki (West), perpetrated by Matti Juhani Saari, 22, killing ten people. He also committed suicide shortly after.

And in 2019, a student with a sword broke into a vocational school in the town of Kuopio, killing a 23-year-old woman and injuring nine people.

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116