8 killed, 11 wounded in Finland's first school shooting
Copyright 2007 The Associated Press
TUUSULA, Finland — An 18-year-old gunman killed eight people at a high school in southern Finland today, then shot himself but survived, police said.
They said the high school's principal was among the dead.
Police said the gunman, who used a .22-caliber pistol, was taken to hospital with serious wounds and the situation was "under control" after officers surrounded Jokela High School in Tuusula, some 30 miles north of the capital, Helsinki.
It was the first known school shooting in Finland, where gun ownership is fairly common by European standards, but shootings are rare.
Medical response leader Eero Hirvensalo told The Associated Press that one person had been "severely injured" while 10 people had minor injuries.
Finnish media reports said the shooter had revealed his plans on the video Web site YouTube.
A posting titled "Jokela High School Massacre" showed a picture of a building by a lake that appears to be the school, along with two photos of a young man holding a handgun. The person who posted the video was identified in the user profile as an 18-year-old man from Finland. The posting was later removed.
The profile contained a text calling for a "revolution against the system."
Police could not immediately be reached to comment on the video.
Kim Kiuru, a teacher at the school, said the principal had announced over the public address system just before noon that all students should remain in their classrooms.
"I stayed in the corridor to listen to more instructions, having locked my classroom door," Kiuru told the YLE radio station. "After that I saw the gunman running with what appeared to be a small-caliber handgun in his hand through the doors toward me, after which I escaped to the corridor downstairs and ran in the opposite direction."
Kiuru said he saw a woman's body as he fled the building.
"Then my pupils shouted at me out of the windows to ask what they should do and I told them to jump out of the windows ... and all my pupils were saved," Kiuru said.
More than 400 students, from 12 to 18, were enrolled at Jokela, a local official said.
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