YouTube link to Finland school shootings
(Sky News) A pupil at a school in Finland has gone on a shooting rampage – reportedly killing eight people.
It happened hours after a video was posted on YouTube predicting a massacre.
“At this moment it’s seven or more,” Dr Eero Hirvensalo, head of the medical response team, said.
A journalist from the Helsinki Sanomat, Kari Raisanen, told Sky News police were yet to confirm the death toll.
“So far the only thing the police have confirmed is there are dead people,” he said.
“We know a student started shooting around midday and there’s chaos. Nobody knows exactly what’s happening inside. Some say the principal is dead, but that’s unconfirmed.”
Early reports suggested three people had been wounded in the shooting, including the school’s principal, according to Tuula Panula, a spokeswoman for the Tuusula municipality, some 40 miles from the Finnish capital Helsinki.
The video, set to hard-driving music, shows a still photo of a school that appears to be Jokela High School, where the shootings occurred.
The photo then fragments to reveal a red-tinted photo of a man pointing a gun at the camera.
It is entitled “Jokela High School Massacre – 11/7/2007” and was posted by a user called Sturmgeist89. “Sturmgeist” means storm spirit in German.
However, it was not clear whether the person in the video was the person who carried out the shootings.
A teacher at the scene told the Reuters news agency the gunman was a pupil at the school.
Teacher Kim Kiuru, who was teaching at the time, said: “It felt unreal, a pupil I have taught myself was running towards me, screaming, a pistol in his hand.
“He was moving systematically through the school hallways, knocking on the doors and shooting through the doors.”
Kiuru said he helped his pupils escape through the classroom window.
Junior Constable Olli Laine said police had surrounded the building, which houses both a middle school and high school, and were evacuating students.
Despite having the third-largest per capita ratio of handgun ownership in the world, violent incidents are rare at Finnish schools.
According to Finnish media, there have been four stabbings at schools since 1999, but none of these caused fatalities.
The last major attack in the country came in 2002, when a young man killed himself and six others in a bomb blast at a shopping mall in Helsinki.
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