Sniper shoots dead council official and two journalists in Finland

Independent – by Harriet Agerholm

A sniper has shot dead a local council official and two journalists outside a restaurant in Imatra, a small Finnish town near the Russian border.

Police confirmed a 23-year-old local man has been detained following what is thought to be a random attack.  

The victims – who were all women – were gunned down late on Saturday shortly before midnight, when a police patrol car arrived at the scene, police spokesperson Heli Jamsen-Turkki said.

Two of those killed were in their early 50s and one was in her 30s, she added.

She said that the gunman did not resist arrest and the motive for the attack is not yet known.

Police investigators work at the area where three women were shot dead killed (AFP/Getty)

Saku Tielinen, who is leading the investigation, said the 23-year-old suspect had been detained on suspicion of murder. He had a criminal record, including for violent incidents and theft.

“There is no indication of a political motive. It seems the gunman and victims didn’t know each other,” Detective Inspector Tielinen said.

“All indications are that he chose his victims randomly.”

Investigators will question him later on Sunday.

The suspect arrived outside the restaurant in his car and shot the three women as they stepped out of the restaurant. He then waited in the car until police arrived and accompanied officers silently and peacefully, police said.

Among the victims, who were shot in the head and torso, was the social-democrat city council head Tiina Wilén-Jäppinen, who was in her 50s.

It was initially reported that the council official was the local mayor, an error that has since been corrected.

Imatra is home to just 28,000 people and lies around 230 kilometers (140 miles) east of Finnish capital Helsinki.


Saara Raudasoja, a spokeswoman for the South Karelia Social and Health Care District, said: “We decided to open a crisis center after the shooting occurred right in the middle of the town near restaurants and nightclubs.

“There were people there when it happened. In such a small place, it’s quite a huge incident and many people were shocked.”

Following the killings, residents gathered for a candlelit vigil in the town.

About 650,00 people in Finland, which is home to 5.4 million, own a gun, but firearm deaths are rare.

5 thoughts on “Sniper shoots dead council official and two journalists in Finland

  1. “Sniper shoots dead council official and two journalists in Finland”

    What was the point?

    If he was already dead, why did he shoot him?

  2. Shooting from a car parked outside the restaurant sounds does NOT sound like a sniper to me.
    That sounds like close range Urban Rifle distance.
    But…that doesn’t have the emotional impact of the word “sniper”.
    So the media reflexively use the most sinister language to describe it.
    BTW, where are the videos and crime scene photos.

  3. I think there’s some shit in this game
    I don’t believe the “sniper” got caught
    If in fact this even was a sniper hit

    One of the hardest to prove if the sniper does it right
    And what would be this schlubs motive ?
    I’m not buying this story as presented

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