Finland Kuopio school attack leaves one dead

The college is on the premises of the Herman shopping centre in Kuopio Image copyright AFP
Image caption Police said a body had been found on the college premises, which is part of the Herman shopping centre

One person has died and 10 have been wounded in a violent attack at a vocational college in the Finnish city of Kuopio, police say.

A witness told Finnish media that a student entered Savo college carrying a sword and stabbed several people.

Police said the suspect was carrying a “bladed weapon” and a gun.

They said they used a firearm when they arrived at the school, which is in a shopping centre south of the centre of Kuopio.

Another witness told local radio that armed police had confronted the suspect and two shots had been fired.

The suspect, who police say is Finnish man, was among those wounded in the attack. Two are described as in a serious condition.

“One dead body has been found at the college premises of Kuopio Herman,” police said. The wounded have been taken to Kuopio university hospital where a major disaster alert is under way.

Students ‘threw chairs’ at attacker

The college has about 600 students and 40 staff, but officials say it is unclear how many were at the scene at the time of the attack.

Image copyright IL-TV
Image caption Police said they opened fire when they arrived at the college

One woman told Finnish media how she had helped a female teacher who suffered a deep wound to her hand when she was attacked by the student.

He had walked in on a class shortly after midday and pulled a sword out of his bag and attacked the teacher, the Iltahlehti news website reported. As she tried to flee, students threw chairs at the attacker in an attempt to escape and some were wounded.

Prime Minister Antti Rinne said the violence at the college was “shocking and completely unacceptable”, while Education Minister Li Andersson said every young person had a right to study in safety, without fear of violence.

Finland is considered a relatively safe country, with a total of 73 homicides in 2017, but it does have a large gun-owning population. In 2008, a 22-year-old gunman shot dead 10 people at a vocational school in the town of Kauhajoki before fatally shooting himself.


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