Deadly shooting at high school in Finland

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Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Location of Tuusula in Finland

Eight people have been killed in a school shooting in Jokela, Finland according to an official police briefing. The victims are five male students and two female students and the principal of the Jokela High School. At least 12 people were injured from glass and other injuries during evacuation, but are not in serious danger. Besides the eight that perished, only one other person has been reported to have received a gunshot wound, but is also reported to be out of serious danger.

At a news conference at 18:00 EET (UTC+2), police said that they arrested the shooter after a siege situation at the Jokela School Centre. The shooter is said to be an 18-year-old male student, named as Pekka-Eric Auvinen, who attended the school.

The police say that the shooter had probably shot himself at some point in an apparent suicide attempt. He died at nearby Töölö Hospital at 22:14 EET. The police confirmed that they had not used weapons during the incident.

Apparently, the killer had uploaded a home-made movie to YouTube announcing the "massacre" one day prior to the shooting. His profile featured several movies regarding an ongoing depression and unsuccessful treatment with SSRIs. Additionally, some movies of him shooting his new gun had been uploaded weeks prior to the shooting. Several hours after the event, YouTube decided to suspend his account due to terms of use violation.

Auvinen also had a personal website which featured images, music and documents, including a manifesto. The site has since been removed by the service provider. In the manifesto, he called for a war on the "weak-minded masses" and said he was willing to die for his cause. "I cannot say that I am of the same race as this miserable, arrogant and selfish human race. No! I have evolved a step higher," he wrote.

Prayer vigils are being held at churches around Finland. The Ministry of the Interior has said that flags should be flown at half-mast from 8 o'clock in the morning until sundown on Thursday.

The Jokela School Centre has 460 students between the ages 12 and 18. Jokela is in the Tuusula municipality and is located just north of Helsinki.


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