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At least 7 dead in Finland school shooting

TUUSULA, Finland (AP) – At least seven people were killed Wednesday after an 18-year-old man opened fire at a high school in southern Finland, a medical official said.

“It’s at least seven dead,” medical response leader Eero Hirvensalo told The Associated Press. Another person was “severely injured,” while 10 other people had minor injuries, Hirvensalo said.

A municipal official said earlier that some students remained inside the school. Police said the situation was “under control,” indicating they were not being held hostage.

It was the first known school shooting in Finland, where gun ownership is fairly common by European standards, but shootings are rare.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

HELSINKI, Finland (AP) – A teenager opened fire at a high school in southern Finland on Wednesday, killing one person and wounding three others before the building was surrounded by police, a municipal official said.

The officials said some students remained inside the school but police said the situation was “under control,” indicating they were not being held hostage.

Heidi Hagman, assistant to the municipality director in Tuusula, some 30 miles north of the capital, Helsinki, told The Associated Press that the Jokela high school had been surrounded after an 18-year-old man shot four people and killed one.

It was the first known school shooting in Finland, where gun ownership is fairly common by European standards, but shootings are rare.

“Some of the pupils have managed to escape from the school but others are still inside,” Hagman said.

She said more than 400 students between the ages of 12 and 18 were enrolled.

“The situation is under control,” said police spokesman Tero Haapala, adding that “there is no danger to outsiders now.”

Police did not confirm that someone had been killed.

Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen described the situation as “extremely tragic” and said the government would hold an emergency meeting.

Kim Kiuru, a teacher at the school, said the principal announced over the public address system just before noon that all students should remain in their class rooms.

“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 towards 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, which were at a level of 1 1/2 floors, and all my pupils were saved,” Kiuru said.

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November 8, 2007 - Posted by | Blogroll, Homeland security, news, personal, politics, random, religion, Terrorism, Terrorism In The U.S., Terrorism News, Uncategorized, War-On-Terror

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