School Shooting in Kauhajoki, Finland Kills Eleven

September 24th, 2008

At approximately 11:00 a.m. Finnish time, a man in his twenties entered the Kauhajoen koti- ja laitostalousoppilaitos vocational school in Kauhajoki, Finland with a gun and began to open fire, killing 11 people.

The man identified as Matti Juhani Saari, 22, was wearing a mask when he entered the school. Reports say he was a student at the school. The shooting is reported to have occurred in the school’s cellar, where students were taking an exam. At least 150 students are reported to have been in the school when the shooting started.

According to superintendent Urpo Lintala, the shooter was apprehended by police, but suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. He was transported to police and taken to Tampere central hospital, but later died of his injuries. Police state he made a video of himself shooting a gun and later posted it on YouTube. On Monday after finding the video, authorities questioned him, but no charges were filed due to a lack of evidence.

At approximately the time the shooting started, police say a fire had been started, but was quickly extinguished by firefighters. There have also been reports of a bomb threat to a nearby building.

This is the deadliest school shooting in Finland since November 2007 when eight people were killed at a high school in Jokela.

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