Finnish police confirms bullying as motive behind school shooting-Xinhua

Finnish police confirms bullying as motive behind school shooting

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-04-04 00:33:45

HELSINKI, April 3 (Xinhua) -- Finnish police confirmed on Wednesday that bullying directed at the suspected shooter was a motivating factor behind the tragic school shooting that occurred on Tuesday in Vantaa, a suburb near the capital city of Helsinki.

In a press release, police said the suspect, a 12-year-old sixth grader, told the police that he had experienced bullying at school and this has been verified in the investigation.

The suspect, a student at Viertola School in Vantaa, fatally shot a boy and seriously wounded two girls with a handgun. All four were all classmates of the same age, the police said. The suspect, who had recently moved to the area, had been enrolled at Viertola School for just 11 weeks prior to the incident.

The suspect has since been handed over to the custody of social welfare authorities. Under Finnish law, individuals aged under 15 are not held criminally responsible. As a result, the suspect cannot be detained or imprisoned, as stated in the press release.

The shooting is currently under investigation as a murder case, with two counts of attempted murder. Moreover, authorities are examining allegations that the suspect made threats against fellow students after leaving the school premises. As a result, this aspect of the incident is also being classified and investigated as an act of threat by the police.

The municipal education authority of Vantaa refrained from commenting on allegations of bullying within the school. Ilkka Kalo, director for primary education in Vantaa, declined to address inquiries related to the motive during a press briefing with national broadcaster Yle.

Viertola School, which houses about 800 students across four separate buildings, lacks emergency assistance request buttons in most of its buildings, including the location of the shooting. According to media reports, students had to rely on their personal mobile phones to seek assistance during the incident.

The revolver-type handgun used by the shooter belonged to a close relative, who is the licensed owner of the weapon, the police said. Police are probing the circumstances surrounding the accessibility of the weapon to the suspect, considering it as a potential violation of gun control regulations.