A man carrying a sword and a firearm killed a woman and left nine others wounded on Tuesday. The attack took place at a vocational school that was situated inside a shopping centre in central Finland, said the police. The police claim the attacker was seriously wounded after Police opened fire and was taken into custody. The Police superintendent for eastern Finland told a news conference that officers were forced to shoot the man to prevent more violence at the Herman shopping centre.
The police also revealed that the suspect was a Finnish national born in 1994 without a prior criminal record. The police added that the suspect was a student at the Savo Vocational College, which occupies the shopping centre’s second floor. Firebombs were also found at the suspect's residence when the police raided it after the attack, however, it is unclear if they were used during the attack. According to reports, one police officer was slightly injured, and the rest of the wounded were students and staff of the school, mostly women aged 15-50.
The National Bureau of Investigation has taken over the investigation. Police wouldn’t provide further details on the woman who was killed, but Finnish newspaper Keskisuomalainen said she was a student at the school and “the primary target” of the dark-clad attacker. The motive of the attack is still unclear.
Finland's Prime Minister Antti Rinne tweeted about the incident and termed it 'shocking'. A witness from the incident told Finnish newspaper Iltalehti the man had entered a class with a bag and took out a sword and struck the teacher with it. Panic broke out among the students and some of them started to throw chairs at the attacker who fled the scene, Iltalehti reported.
(With agency inputs)