A Finnish school in shock: On Tuesday morning, shots rang out from a primary school in the town of Vantaa near Helsinki. A twelve-year-old child died of his injuries on site, two other twelve-year-old students are in hospital with serious injuries, according to the police. The suspected perpetrator: also a twelve-year-old student.

The authorities were alerted at around 9:00 a.m. local time. Shortly afterwards, a large contingent cordoned off the school and the surrounding area. According to police, all of the children were in sixth grade. The suspect was found about a kilometer from the school, as was the firearm. According to the police, the arrest went smoothly. The incident is being classified as murder and double attempted murder. The suspect is said to have confessed to the crime during the first interrogation. According to police, the weapon used belonged to a close relative of the boy.

The public was asked to stay away from the area. “Don’t open the door to strangers,” police said. The incident remains under investigation.

“This shouldn’t have happened,” said police chief Seppo Kolehmainen about the case. Society – said the leading police officer – should have learned from previous school shootings.

More than 1.5 million registered firearms

Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo commented on the incident on X, formerly Twitter: “The shooting in Vantaa is deeply shocking. My thoughts are with the victims, their families and the other students and staff at the school.”

The school is a primary school in the Viertola district and has around 800 students spread across two locations. Vantaa in southern Finland is the fourth largest city in the country with more than 200,000 inhabitants.

According to the Finnish Ministry of the Interior, there are more than 1.5 million registered firearms and approximately 430,000 authorized owners in Finland. Both hunting and owning weapons have a long tradition in Finland. After shootings at Finnish schools in 2007 and 2008 that left a total of 20 dead, the country tightened its gun laws by raising the minimum age for gun ownership and giving police more powers to control people who applied for gun licenses.