Nov 08

Jokela High School Shooting: Finnish student kills himself after his shooting spree

Pekka-Eric Auvinen, a teenager and attending Jokela High School in Tuusula, southern Finland, yesterday opened fire at his school killing eight people, including the school principal, before turning the gun on himself, has died in the hospital later that day. Eighteen years old Auvinen, shot himself in the head after killing five boys, two girls and one adult woman who turned out to be the head teacher.

Police said the gunman shot the victims with a .22-calibre pistol. About a dozen other people were injured as they tried to escape what is believed to be the first fatal shooting in a Finnish school.

Kim Kiuru, a teacher at the school, said that just before noon that day of the shooting, the headteacher announced over the public address system that all students should remain in their classrooms. Kiuru recounted the incident via a radio interview:

“I stayed in the corridor to listen to more instructions, having locked my classroom door, after that, I saw the gunman running with what appeared to be a small calibre handgun in his hand through the doors toward me after which I escaped to the corridor downstairs and ran in the opposite direction.”

“Then my pupils shouted at me out of the windows to ask what they should do and I told them to jump out of the windows … and all my pupils were saved,” Mr Kiuru said.

The shooting came just hours after a video was posted on the YouTube website predicting
a school massacre. The video, showed a photograph of a school that appears to be Jokela high school. The photo then fragments to reveal a red-tinted picture of a man pointing a gun at the camera. The video has been taken down by YouTube.

The clip, entitled “Jokela High School Massacre – 11/7/2007”, was posted by a user called Sturmgeist89, believed to be Auvinen. Sturmgeist means storm spirit in German. Sturmgeist was wearing a black custom t-shirt which says: Humanity is Overrated.

An accompanying profile stated he was an “antisocial social Darwinist”. Auvinen went on: “I am prepared to fight and die for my cause. I, as a natural selector, will eliminate all who I see unfit, disgraces of human race and failures of natural selection.”

Auvinen also wrote how he hoped “my actions will inspire all the intelligent people of the world and start some sort of revolution against the current systems”. The writer listed his occupation as “unemployed philosopher” and said misanthropy was among his hobbies.

The shooting is reminiscent of Cho Seung-Hui, the student gunman who killed 33 people, including himself, when he went on a shooting rampage on the Virginia Tech campus in the US in April. He sent a videotaped message to NBC news in which he attempted to justify the murders.

Despite having the third largest per capita ratio of handgun ownership in the world, violent incidents are rare at Finnish schools. The only major attack in the country came in 2002 when a young man killed himself and six others in a bomb blast at a shopping mall in Helsinki.

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