Finnish Student Kills 10 at College, Commits Suicide

Such actions are just a mirror of our society.
If you have time do some research on Prozac, Zoloft and Ritalin(= Concerta) linked to school shootings and suicide.
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Sept. 23 (Bloomberg) — A student in Finland opened fire at his college in the western town of Kauhajoki, killing 10 people before turning his gun on himself, the government said, in the country’s second school shooting in a year.

Gunfire erupted at 10:54 a.m. local time, Interior Minister Anne Holmlund said, and police surrounded the catering school, about 330 kilometers (205 miles) from Helsinki. The suspect died from a gunshot wound to the head, said Rauno Ihalainen, director of the Pirkanmaa hospital district. At least one other person was injured in the incident.

Police interviewed the suspect yesterday after he posted a video of himself firing a handgun on the YouTube Web site on Sept. 19, Holmlund said, without naming him. Six high school pupils and two staff members were killed in a November shooting at Jokela High School, until today the deadliest peacetime attack in Finland’s history. That assailant left a warning on YouTube, about two hours before his assault.

“It is a tragic day,” Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen said at a briefing in Helsinki. “This shooting bears unfortunate resemblance to the attack in Jokela a year ago.”

The person who survived the shooting has facial wounds and is in satisfactory condition, said Matti Lehto, Tampere University Hospital medical director. Two people were treated for minor injuries at a clinic.

Worst Since April 2007

The shooting in Kauhajoki, a rural town of 14,500 people, is the worst on a school campus since a gunman in the U.S. killed 32 of his fellow students along with teachers at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia, in April 2007.

“This indicates that we didn’t learn from one incident, that it became more of a model,” Salli Saari, crisis psychologist at Helsinki’s University Health Center, said in a telephone interview. “We need to focus on schools. Lately we’ve heard a lot of cries for help, saying that schools favor girls, and that boys don’t like school and don’t do so well at school. I guess this is a cry for help — the world needs to be changed.”

The number of people killed by the gunman was initially put at nine by the prime minister. The school is attended by about 200 students, most in their late teens or early 20s. Ten were killed by the suspect before he shot himself, Chief Inspector Urpo Lintala of Kauhajoki police said in a telephone interview.

Fire at School

At around the time of the shooting, a fire was started at the school and firefighters responded to extinguish the blaze, YLE reported. A bomb threat was made at a building nearby, YLE said. Teams were dispatched to help victims at the scene, Finland’s Red Cross said on its Web site.

“Some of the victims are burned,” Lintala said in a telephone interview.

Finland has the most guns per capita in Europe, a total of 1.8 million weapons outside of army use in a country of 5.3 million people, according to Amnesty International. That’s the third-highest rate in the world after the U.S. and Yemen. Any adult can own a gun if it is registered with a shooting club.

The Kauhajoki gunman obtained a temporary license for his first firearm in August, Holmlund said in the news briefing.

An interview taking about an hour is compulsory for all first-time applicants for a gun license, Jouni Laiho, director general at the Interior Ministry, said today by telephone. Finland grants about 72,000 gun permits annually, he said.

Police Guidelines

Interviewing is required under guidelines issued to police about two weeks before the Jokela shootings in November, Laiho said. The guidelines focus on the applicant’s suitability to own a weapon.

“In spite of the events in Jokela, and now in Kauhajoki, we would have begun thinking about how we can make the evaluation of the person’s suitability more efficient by using medical expertise,” Laiho said. “That’s a tricky question which we have pondered previously.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Kati Pohjanpalo in Helsinki at kpohjanpalo@bloomberg.net.

Last Updated: September 23, 2008 12:40 EDT
By Kati Pohjanpalo

Source: Bloomberg

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