Finnish police say gunman shot victims systematically

A Kosovan-born gunman who killed four people and his ex-girlfriend in a New Year's Eve rampage, shot his victims systematically and did not fire at random, police said on Friday.

Finland's third shooting spree in as many years has shocked many. Mourners placed candles outside the shopping centre where four of the five murders took place and huddled outside in icy conditions.

Police said Ibrahim Shkupolli, 43, used a handgun to kill three men and a woman at the Sello mall in Espoo, a town near Helsinki, as shoppers stocked up for the New Year holiday.

Shkupolli killed his ex-girlfriend, who had worked at the mall, in an apartment before killing himself at his own home.

"We don't know if the shooter knew the victims [in the shopping centre] beforehand. We are looking into that," Detective Superintendent Esa Gronlund told a news conference. "At this point, we cannot say why they were shot."

But Gronlund, who is leading the investigation, said Shkupolli was systematic in the way he shot the victims at the mall. "The shootings have taken place in a way that you cannot call them random," he said.

Police said it appeared that Shkupolli, who did not have Finnish citizenship, was acting alone.

The shootings prompted more national soul-searching over Finland's gun control laws, which were already tightened after two school shootings in 2007 and 2008.

Police did not discuss gun regulations at the news conference. They said the handgun used in the shootings had been unlicensed, making it difficult to investigate.

Gronlund said he could not say if the ex-girlfriend was killed before or after the other victims.

But using closed circuit television and other evidence, police pieced together the path that Shkupolli took as he stalked the mall. Footage has not been released.

Police confirmed that Shkupolli was known to them and that a restraining order had ordered him to stay away from his ex-girlfriend. He violated the terms of the order in mid-November, attempting to phone the ex-girlfriend and sending her a text message. Police said the contents of that message did not contain anything threatening.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
Arts and Entertainment
Ricardo by Edward Sutcliffe, 2014
artPortraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb go on display
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Spanish Speaking

£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - German Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Japanese Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are fluent in Japanese a...

Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer - Immediate Start

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'