Finland gunman kills two students

Police arrested Saturday an 18-year-old man in camouflage fatigues suspected of killing two students in a shooting targeting restaurants packed with teenagers in southern Finland.

The gunman opened fire around 1:53 am (2253 GMT) from a rooftop in Hyvinkaa, a city about 50 kilometres (30 miles) north of Helsinki, aiming at two restaurants where many young people had gathered outside, police said.

The motives for the attack were not yet clear.

Finland has in recent years been hit by several cases of deadly shootings by teenagers, and President Sauli Niinisto said the killing sprees showed that "something has broken in society".

An 18-year-old woman was killed on the spot in Saturday's attack while an 19-year-old man later died from his injuries. Both were students at a local technical college.

Another seven people were hurt including a 23-year-old police officer who was wounded as she left her vehicle after arriving at the scene, a police spokesman said.

"Shooting erupted suddenly," Jani Kuronen, a man in his 20s, told public television YLE. "People starting running. One person had a horrible wound on the face. I called an ambulance."

Another witness, Santeri Silvenoinen, said he heard the gunshots and "then looking around me, I saw a woman lying on the ground and I started running."

Police did not identify the suspect, but said he was dressed in camouflage fatigues. He was arrested near Hyvinkaa, a city of 45,000 people, without putting up any resistance.

Three firearms including a hunting rife were seized from the suspect, who was not in possession of any gun permits, police said, adding that he had no criminal record.

Asked about the gunman's motives, police spokesman Satu Koivo said an investigation was ongoing, adding: "For the moment, it is not possible to confirm anything."

The spokesman told AFP however that police did not believe that the gunman knew his victims.

Hyvinkaa mayor Raimo Lahti told YLE that the whole town was in shock.

On September 23, 2008, a student who went on a murderous rampage at a school in Kauhajoki in the southwest killed 10 people before turning his gun on himself.

In a similar incident on November 7, 2007 at Jokela, not far from Hyvinkaa, an 18-year-old killed seven classmates and the headmistress then shot himself in the head.


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