Finland school shooting: How common are shootings in schools in the Nordic country as one child dies after 12-year-old opens fire?

A 12-year-old boy is believed to be responsible for the shooting

One child has died and two others are seriously injured after a 12-year-old opened fire in a school in Finland this morning

All three of the students injured in the shooting, at a secondary school in the south of the country, near the capital, Helsinki, are also believed to be aged 12.

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Local police said they arrived at the scene within nine minutes of the attack and tended to the three victims, however one child had already died.

Finnish police officers investigate (Photo by MARKKU ULANDER/Lehtikuva/AFP via Getty Images)Finnish police officers investigate (Photo by MARKKU ULANDER/Lehtikuva/AFP via Getty Images)
Finnish police officers investigate (Photo by MARKKU ULANDER/Lehtikuva/AFP via Getty Images)

The suspect was arrested in the Helsinki area later in the day with a handgun in his possession.

Prime Minister Petteri Orpo said that the incident, in the city of Vantaa, 11 miles outside Helsinki, was "deeply shocking".

He added: "My thoughts are with the victims, their loved ones and the other students and staff of the school."

Elina Pekkarinen, the Finnish Children’s Ombudsman, said: “The school shooting in Vantaa deeply shocks. My deepest condolences to the families, friends, other students and teachers of the victims.

“All children now need a listening ear and tenderness, let's try to support them.”

How common are school shootings in Finland?

In the past decade, Finland has witnessed two major deadly school shootings.

In November 2007, an 18-year-old student armed with a semi-automatic pistol opened fire at the premises of the Jokela high school in Tuusula, southern Finland, killing nine people. He was later found dead with self-inflicted wounds.

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Less than a year later, in September 2008, a 22-year-old student shot and killed 10 people with a semi-automatic pistol at a vocational college in Kauhajoki, south-west Finland, before fatally shooting himself.

In the Nordic nation of 5.6 million, there are more than 1.5 million licensed firearms and about 430,000 licence holders, according to the Finnish Interior Ministry.

Hunting and gun ownership have long traditions in the sparsely-populated northern European country.

Responsibility for granting permits for ordinary firearms rests with local police departments.

Following the school shootings in 2007 and 2008, Finland tightened its gun laws by raising the minimum age for firearms ownership and giving police greater powers to make background checks on individuals applying for a gun licence.

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