12-year-old boy who fatally shot a classmate and wounded two others in Finland was motivated by bullying (police)

12-year-old boy who fatally shot a classmate and wounded two others in Finland was motivated by bullying (police)
12-year-old boy who fatally shot a classmate and wounded two others in Finland was motivated by bullying (police)

Finnish police said Wednesday that the 12-year-old boy who fatally shot a sixth-grader and seriously injured two others at a school in the town of Vantaa was a victim of bullying and that it was the motive behind the attack. Reuters reports.

Candles at the Viertola school where the attack took placePhoto: Markku Ulander / Shutterstock Editorial / Profimedia

The boy went with a relative’s revolver to the Viertola school in Vantaa, a town near the capital Helsinki, on Tuesday and shot three 12-year-old classmates and threatened others. He had transferred to this school earlier this year, according to investigators.

The government on Wednesday asked Finns to observe a day of mourning and ordered flags on public buildings to be flown at half-mast as a mark of respect for the deceased child. The other two injured children are still in hospital.

“We just found out today that there was bullying behind this tragedy,” Chief Detective Marko Sarkka, who is leading the investigation into the attack, told Reuters.

Investigators noted in a separate news release that they confirmed the juvenile who carried out the attack was a victim of bullying, but did not say whether he sought to shoot any of his classmates.

Reuters notes that in Finland, a country known for its educational achievements, the incidence of bullying is on the rise, with around 8.6 percent of students around the age of 12 now saying they are victims of bullying and harassment. This percentage was 7.2% in 2019, according to surveys carried out by the public health institute THL.

Finnish police are still trying to find out how the boy managed to get hold of the weapon he used to commit the attack

Investigators also said Wednesday that they were still investigating how the boy who carried out the attack was able to obtain his relative’s gun, but that this was the subject of a separate weapons and ammunitions breach investigation.

After deadly school shootings in 2007 and 2008, Finland tightened its gun laws and in 2019 introduced a skills test for issuing permits. The minimum age for owning a gun was also raised from 18 to 20.

In Finland, a country where hunting and shooting sports are popular, there are 1.5 million registered guns and about 430,000 owners in a population of about 5.6 million.

Finnish police also stated that the other two students shot on Tuesday suffered life-threatening injuries. No details were given on their identity or the attacker, but the Kosovo Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a Facebook post that one of the injured children was a girl from Kosovo.

The article is in Romanian

Tags: #12yearold boy fatally shot classmate wounded Finland motivated bullying police


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