8 Killed, 11 Wounded in Finland's First School Shooting

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TUUSULA, Finland (AP) - An 18-year-old man opened fire at a high school in southern Finland on Wednesday, leaving at least 8 people dead and 11 wounded, officials said. The principal is among those who died.

Officials say the gunman used a .22-caliber pistol on the students before turning the weapon on himself. He was rushed to the hospital with serious wounds. Police said the situation was "under control" after they surrounded the high school in Tuusula, some 30 miles north of the capital, Helsinki.

Finnish media reports said the shooter had revealed his plans on
the video Web site YouTube. A posting titled "Jokela High School Massacre" showed a picture of a building by a lake that appears to be the school, along with two photos of a young man holding a handgun. The person who posted the video was identified in the user profile as an 18-year-old man from Finland. The posting was later removed. The profile contained a text calling for a "revolution against the system." Police could not immediately be reached to comment on the video.

It was the first known school shooting in Finland, where gun ownership is fairly common by European standards, but shootings are rare.

A local official said earlier that students remained inside the school, but police did not say whether the gunman was holding hostages. Police also did not confirm the number of victims.

Kim Kiuru, a teacher at the school, said the principal announced over the public address system just before noon that all students should remain in their classrooms.

"I stayed in the corridor to listen to more instructions having locked my classroom door," Kiuru told the YLE radio station.

"After that I saw the gunman running with what appeared to be a small-caliber handgun in his hand through the doors toward me after which I escaped to the corridor downstairs and ran in the opposite direction."

Kiuru said he saw a woman's body as he fled the building.

"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," Kiuru said.

More than 400 students, ages of 12 to 18, were enrolled at Jokela, said Heidi Hagman, assistant to the Tuusula municipality director.

Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen described the situation as "extremely tragic" and said the government would hold an emergency meeting.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)