Bullying Blamed for Finland School Shooting: 12-Year-Old Boy Kills Classmate

Vantaa, Finland – A tragic incident unfolded near Helsinki as a 12-year-old boy shot a classmate dead and injured two others at the Viertola School in Vantaa, Finland. Finnish police revealed that bullying played a significant role in driving the young boy to commit the violent act, marking the country’s first school shooting in over a decade.

The shooting took place on a Tuesday morning at a lower secondary school, resulting in the death of one male classmate and the injury of two others, all of whom were also 12 years old. The preteen suspect, who had transferred to the school the previous year, was apprehended by authorities after being found outside the building with a revolver.

According to investigations and statements from the national police force, the motive behind the shooting was confirmed to be bullying. The suspect admitted during interrogations that he had been a victim of bullying, a fact supported by preliminary police findings. Prior to the arrival of law enforcement, the suspect reportedly used the weapon to threaten students heading to a different school.

The tragedy at Viertola School adds to Finland’s history of only four recorded school shootings. The most devastating of these incidents occurred in 2008, when a college student took the lives of nine students and a teacher at a technical university in Kauhajoki before taking his own life. In response to these events, the Finnish government implemented stricter regulations on firearms ownership, including raising the minimum age to 18 and conducting background checks.

While Finland boasts a high rate of civilian gun ownership, gun homicides remain rare. The country’s gun homicide rate stands at 0.09 deaths per 100,000 people, significantly lower than neighboring Sweden. Despite these statistics, the recent tragic events underscore the ongoing challenges of ensuring safety and preventing violence in school environments.