April 16, 2024

FINLAND: 12yo Boy Shot And Killed Fellow 6 Grade Classmate And Severely Injured 2 Other Students On 4/2. He Just Transferred To This School In January 2024 And Was Being Bullied By Them.

I just found out about this school shooting in Finland while looking for more information about my last post. So this is why I'm late in sharing this news with you. (emphasis mine)
Reuters published April 3, 2024: Finland school shooting motivated by bullying, say police. A 12-year-old boy who shot and killed a fellow sixth-grader and severely injured two others at a school in Finland said he was a target of bullying and that this was the motive for his attack, according to the police.
Inside Edition published April 2, 2024: 1 Child Dead, 1 in Custody After Finland School Shooting. A 12-year-old child is dead and three others are in critical condition at a hospital after a school shooting in Finland, according to reports. It happened in a suburb of Helsinki. The shooter is reported to be a 12-year-old boy who attended the school. All involved were in the sixth grade. Investigators reportedly said he got the firearm from a family member. He was taken into custody, but is being held by social services because of his age. Inside Edition Digital’s Mara Montalbano has more.
The Star published April 5, 2024: Parents urge action after Finnish police link school shooting to bullying. The 12-year-old boy who shot and killed a fellow sixth-grader and severely injured two others at a school in Vantaa, Finland, has stated that he was a target of bullying, which motivated his attack. Parents visiting a makeshift memorial outside the school on Wednesday (April 3), said that authorities need to act more quickly to eradicate bullying.
Here's an important excerpt from the Star news reporting above, "Finland has observed a rise in incidents in bullying within schools. A study conducted in 2023 by the Public Health Institute THL revealed that 8.6% of 12-year-old students experiencing bullying at least once weekly. An increase from 7.2% in 2019." (emphasis mine)
Reuters News
written by Essi Lehto and Sergejs Mikusa
Wednesday April 3, 2024

HELSINKI, Finland - A 12-year-old boy who shot and killed a fellow sixth-grader and severely injured two others at a school in Finland has said he was a target of bullying and that this was the motive for his attack, police said on Wednesday.

The boy on Tuesday brought a relative's revolver to Viertola school near Helsinki and shot the three 12-year-olds and threatened several others. He had transferred to the school at the start of 2024, investigators said.

Finland held a national day of mourning on Wednesday, with flags on public buildings flown at half-mast in a sign of respect for the dead child. The two other pupils remained in hospital, with what police said were life-threatening injuries.

"We just found out today that there was this bullying behind the tragedy," lead investigator Detective Chief Inspector Marko Sarkka told Reuters. He declined to elaborate.

Police have not said whether the attacker sought to target any specific individuals.

Finland has seen a rising level of bullying in schools, with 8.6% of pupils who are now around 12 years old saying they had been targeted at least once a week, up from 7.2% in 2019, according to a 2023 study by public health institute THL.

The permit for the revolver used in Tuesday's attack belonged to a relative of the suspect, police said. It was not immediately clear how the shooter had obtained the weapon.

"This matter is being investigated by the police as a separate firearms offence," investigators said in a statement.


Mourners lit hundreds of candles and laid flowers outside the school in the town of Vantaa on Wednesday.

The mother of one fifth-grader at the school said parents and teachers should talk more with the children to help identify as early as possible any cases of bullying.

"I want more resources to deal with these incidents," the mother, Valentina Goncharenko, told Reuters.

Following deadly school shootings in 2007 and 2008, Finland tightened its gun legislation in 2010 and introduced an aptitude test for all firearms licence applicants. The minimum age for applicants was also raised to 20 from 18.

There are more than 1.5 million licensed firearms and about 430,000 licence holders in the country of 5.6 million people, where hunting and target shooting are popular.

There were no immediate calls in Finland following Tuesday's incident for a change in the gun laws.

"As far as I understand, you don't easily get a permit for this kind of hand gun and they should be locked away," said Tuomo Matero, a musician out for a stroll in central Helsinki.

"No 12-year-old should have access. If the legislation is followed properly... this kind of thing shouldn't happen. We should make sure there are enough teachers in schools and kids feel safe and that there is no bullying in schools," he added.

No comments: