Gunman Kills 10 at Finnish College

September 23, 2008

A student at a culinary-arts college in Finland went on a shooting rampage there today, killing 10 people before turning his weapon on himself.

The 22-year-old gunman, who died in the hospital shortly after the killings, had been interviewed by the police yesterday, Finland’s interior minister told a news conference this afternoon, because of videos he had posted last week on the Internet showing himself wielding a gun and making menacing comments.

In clips posted on YouTube and other sites, the suspect, Matti Juhani Saari, says, “You will die next,” as he fires his weapon. His user profile has been removed from YouTube, but the BBC reports that “among his favorite videos were clips from the 1999 Columbine school shootings, in Colorado, … that left 13 people dead.”

The interior minister, Anne Holmlund, said that Mr. Saari had a temporary firearm permit, and that the police lacked “enough evidence to revoke the suspect’s gun license.”

The shootings are the second such incident in less than a year in Finland. Last November a student at a high school killed seven other students, a teacher, and himself. He, too, had posted videos on the Internet. Finland ranks third, after the United States and Yemen, in gun-ownership rates, according to the Geneva-based Graduate Institute of International Studies, Reuters reported. —Aisha Labi