Gunman kills five in Finland, then himself
Thursday 31 December 2009
A gunman clad in black went on a shooting rampage today, killing his ex-girlfriend then four workers at a suburban shopping centre near Helsinki before apparently turning his gun on himself, police said.
Finnish police said one woman and three men were shot dead this morning at the Sello shopping centre in Espoo, six miles west of Helsinki.
The gunman was identified as 43-year-old Ibrahim Shkupolli, an immigrant who had been living for several years in Finland. Police said he killed his ex-girlfriend in a nearby apartment before heading to the centre.
The ex-girlfriend, a Finnish woman born in 1967, also worked at the mall and had taken out a restraining order against Shkupolli, police said.
Witnesses said panic erupted at the mall, one of the Nordic region's largest, when the shots rang out. Hundreds of mall workers were evacuated to a nearby library and firehouse, trains were halted and helicopters brought in as police launched a manhunt for the heavily armed killer.
After several hours, a body was found in Shkupolli's home, which police believed to be the killer himself. Police refused to confirm the exact identity immediately, but said the cause of the death appeared to be suicide.
Police refused to discuss Shkupolli's nationality, but Finnish media reported he was an ethnic Albanian from Kosovo.
At a news conference, police officials refused to say whether the four killed at the mall had been targeted by Shkupolli.
The midmorning killings shocked hundreds of people who had gone shopping early on New Year's Eve. One witness told the state broadcaster YLE that a gunman dressed in black began randomly shooting at people on the second floor of the mall.
"There were loads of people who were crying, and many vendors who were completely panicked," the unnamed witness said.
Another female witness told YLE radio news she saw the suspect carrying a long-barrelled pistol and rushing past the cashier line at Sello's Prisma supermarket, where the killings took place.
Finland, a nation of 5.3 million, has 1.6 million firearms in private hands, a long tradition of hunting and ranks among the top five nations in the world in civilian gun ownership.
Politicians, social workers and religious leaders have all urged tighter gun laws, more vigilance of Internet sites and more social bonding in the small Nordic nation, which is known for its high suicide rates, heavy drinking and domestic violence.
Previous shootings in Finland have been linked to schools. In September 2008, a lone gunman killed nine fellow students and a teacher at a vocational college before shooting himself in the western town of Kauhajoki. In November 2007, an 18-year-old student fatally shot eight people and himself at a high school in southern Finland.
Both young men in those attacks fired guns in YouTube clips posted before the shootings, shot themselves in the head and used .22-caliber handguns bought from the same store.
- 1 Emma Watson on Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak: 'Even worse than seeing women's privacy violated is reading the comments'
- 2 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 3 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 4 Cee Lo Green: It is only rape if the victim is conscious
- 5 Katie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge: ‘I hate fat people for making me do this’
Perez Hilton apologises for publishing Jennifer Lawrence naked 4Chan photos
Emma Watson on Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak: 'Even worse than seeing women's privacy violated is reading the comments'
Ariana Grande nude photos leak: Pictures are completely fake, say representatives
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
Katie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge: ‘I hate fat people for making me do this’
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain
£30000 - £45000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: Front-Of...
£700 per day: Harrington Starr: Quantitative Developer C++, Python, STL, R, PD...
£700 per day: Harrington Starr: Java/Calypso Developer Java, Calypso, J2EE, J...
£500 per day: Harrington Starr: SQL Developer SQL, C#, Stored Procedures, MDX...