HELSINKI: A 12-year-old opened fire on Tuesday at a school north of the Finnish capital Helsinki, killing a classmate and seriously injuring two other children, with police saying they were still investigating the motive and lead-up to the incident.

The Viertola school in Vantaa, Finland’s fourth-largest city, has around 90 staff and 800 pupils in grades one to nine, or aged seven to 15.

“Today, after 9am, a shooting incident took place at a school... in which a sixth grader, a student of the school, died,” Ilkka Koskimaki, chief of the Eastern Uusimaa police department, told a press conference, adding that two others were “seriously injured”.

Police had earlier said that both the suspect and the injured were 12 years old. They have opened an investigation into murder and attempted murder. In an afternoon update, police said they had been able to conduct an interview with the young suspect.

“The police are investigating, among other things, the motive for the act and the reasons for the incident,” Detective Chief Inspector Marko Sarkka, who is leading the investigation, said in a statement, adding more information would be shared on Wednesday.

Police also said a technical investigation of the crime scene had begun at the school, which would continue on Wednesday.

The child who was killed died at the scene, and the suspect had already fled the school by the time police arrived.

Published in Dawn, April 3rd, 2024

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