11 Dead in Finland School Shooting

September 23, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
In Finland, eleven people are dead in the nation's second school shooting in less than a year.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Officials said the gunman, who was a student at the school, came onto the campus with a gun and some explosives.

Finnish authorities said 20-year-old Matti Juhani Saari opened fire in a classroom full of students taking an exam. At least nine students were killed and many more injured before Saari fatally shot himself in the head.

This is not the first time Finland has dealt with this kind of tragedy.

"According to the first accounts there seem to be unfortunate similarities with the killings in Jokela a year ago as well as with deaths in other schools around the world," said Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen.

Perhaps most troubling, in hindsight, is a video posted on YouTube.

The Finnish Prime Minister said it shows Saari at target practice and that he posted it last Friday with the words "life is pain."

Reports are Saari was questioned by police about the video but his gun license was not suspended.

A similar video was posted last year by the Jokela gunman. After that incident Finland vowed to tighten its gun laws but, apparently, not much has changed.

With 1.6 million firearms in private hands, Finland is an anomaly in Europe and ranks with the United States and Yemen in terms of civilian gun ownership.

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