The 12-year-old shooter was wearing a mask and noise-canceling headphones

During initial interrogation, the suspect admitted to being the shooter.

Helsinki, Finland:

Finland will fly its flags at half-mast on Wednesday to mark the nation’s mourning after a 12-year-old boy 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 a.m. (05:00 GMT), the Interior Ministry said on its website.

The Ministry encouraged the entire 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 approximately 90 staff and 800 students aged seven to 15.

According to Finnish TV channel MTV Utisset, the boy wore a mask and noise-canceling headphones during the shooting.

The murdered child, also 12, died at the scene, and by the time police arrived, the suspect had fled the school.

They have started investigating murder and attempted murder.

The suspect, who was carrying a gun, was “quietly” arrested within an hour of the shooting and during initial interrogation he confessed to being the shooter.

There were no other suspects, police said.

He said the weapon the suspect was carrying belonged to one of his relatives.

‘Extremely disturbing’

“Police are investigating, among other things, the motive for this act and the circumstances leading up to the incident,” Detective Chief Inspector Marco Sarakka, who is leading the investigation, said in a statement on Tuesday.

Sarakka said the boy would not be imprisoned because he is under the age of 15 and therefore cannot be held criminally responsible.

Police also said that technical investigation of the crime scene has begun at the school, which will continue on Wednesday.

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

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

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

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

“I want to express my deepest condolences to the families of the deceased students,” Stubb said.

‘Take violence seriously’

Finland’s child rights ombudsman Elina Pekkarinen told Finnish news agency STT that “For years (we have been reiterating) that we need to take violence among children seriously in society”.

He said incidents of violence, especially among children under 15, have been increasing for several years.

Finland has already witnessed several horrific school attacks in recent decades.

In November 2007, an 18-year-old man opened fire at a secondary school in Jokela, about 50 kilometers (30 mi) north of Helsinki, killing the headmaster and a nurse along with six pupils, and then turned the gun on himself. Took.

A year later, in September 2008, 22-year-old Matti Juhani Saari killed 11 people at a vocational school in the western city of Kauhajoki.

In October 2019, a college student armed with a saber killed a 23-year-old woman and injured nine others at a vocational school in the city of Kuopio.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)