Sunday 19 November 2017

Gunman kills a politician, two journalists in town centre attack in Finland

Police guards the area were three people were killed in a shooting incident at a restaurant in Imatra, eastern Finland, after midnight on December 4, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Lehtikuva / Lauri Heino / Finland OUTLAURI HEINO/AFP/Getty Images
Police guards the area were three people were killed in a shooting incident at a restaurant in Imatra, eastern Finland, after midnight on December 4, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Lehtikuva / Lauri Heino / Finland OUTLAURI HEINO/AFP/Getty Images
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Three women including a local politician and two journalists were shot dead with a rifle in front of a restaurant in the small Finnish town of Imatra around midnight, police said on Sunday..

A 23-year-old local man with a criminal record was detained at the scene, the Southeastern Finland Police Department said.

It said the motive for the killings remained unclear.

"At the moment, it looks like the victims were chosen at random," Detective Inspector Saku Tielinen told a news conference.

Victim Tiina Wilen-Jappinen was chairwoman of Imatra City Council while the other two women were journalists, the police said.

Imatra, which has 28,000 inhabitants, is about 140 miles (230km) east of the capital, Helsinki.

Police said the gunman fired four or five shots, hitting his victims in the head and torso with a hunting rifle.

Saku Tielinen, who is leading the investigation, said the suspect 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," 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.

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