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Friday, April 12, 2024

Day of mourning in Finland after school shooting death

All public buildings and institutions will lower their flags from 8:00 am (05:00 GMT), the Interior Ministry said on its website.

Finland will fly its flags at half-mast on Wednesday to mark the country’s mourning after a 12-year-old opened fire at a school, killing one classmate and seriously injuring two others.

All public buildings and institutions will lower their flags from 8:00 am (05:00 GMT), the Interior Ministry said on its website.

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– ‘Deeply upsetting’ –

“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 on Tuesday.

Sarkka added that the boy would not be incarcerated as he is under 15 years old and so cannot be held criminally responsible.

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

Prime Minister Petteri Orpo said in a statement that the incident was “deeply upsetting”, adding that his thoughts were with the victims, their parents, other pupils and teachers.

“In the coming days, we must be present for the children and young people, offer them words of comfort and show them that we care about them,” he said in a statement.

“They may be scared or have questions. It is important that we talk about the incident in our homes.”

Read more: Russia warns Finland and Poland says “it will be a threat”

Finnish President Alexander Stubb said in a post on social media platform X that he was “shocked” by the shooting.

“I would like to express my deepest condolences to the families of the deceased student,” Stubb said.

The ministry encouraged the whole country to participate in the event.

On Tuesday morning, a 12-year-old boy opened fire at his school in Vantaa, Finland’s fourth-largest city.

The school has around 90 staff and 800 pupils aged seven to 15.

According to the Finnish TV channel MTV Uutiset, the boy wore a mask and noise-cancelling headphones while carrying out the shooting.

The child who was killed, also aged 12, died at the scene, and the suspect had already fled the school by the time police arrived.

They have opened an investigation into murder and attempted murder.

The suspect, who was carrying a gun, was arrested in a “calm manner” within an hour of the shooting and admitted to being the shooter in a preliminary interrogation.

There were no other suspects, police said.

They said the weapon the suspect was carrying belonged to a relative.