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Mall shooting suspect found dead, bringing death toll to six

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2010-01-01

Finish police confirm that the suspect (pictured) in a shopping mall shooting spree Thursday morning that killed four people has been found dead. A fifth body was later found in a separate location. Police say the suspect killed himself.

Finish police have confirmed that a sixth body found in the Helsinki suburb of Espoo is that of the suspect in a shopping mall shooting spree Thursday morning that left four people dead. Police say the suspect killed himself.  

"It is confirmed that the sixth victim is the suspect," Chief Inspector Jukka Kaski told a
news conference, adding that the suspect was found dead in his home.

 
Sello Shopping Centre

Four people were shot and killed when a gunman opened fire at Espoo’s Sello Shopping Centre. A police statement said the shopping centre victims were three men and a woman and that a fifth body, that of a woman, was later found in an Espoo house.

 
Police identified the suspect as Ibrahim Shkupolli and said the fifth victim was Shkupolli’s girlfriend.
 
Police commissioner Jyrkky Kallio had earlier told AFP that the 43-year-old suspect was well known to the authorities.
 
Finland’s national broadcaster YLE reported that the first shots were fired at about 9:20am Paris time (GMT+1), prompting parts of the mall to be evacuated.
 
"He came in with a nine millimetre and opened fire," says FRANCE 24 correspondent Damien Coquet, reporting from Espoo.
 
Coquet said that between 2,000 and 3,000 people were doing their New Year's Eve shopping at the mall at the time.
 
History of gun violence
 
The incident is the third fatal shooting spree in the past three years in Finland, including two high-profile school shootings. In 2007, nine people died when a gunman opened fire at a school before turning the gun on himself. In September 2008, 11 people including the shooter were killed in a similar incident.
 

Some observers have attributed such incidents to the fact that the country has the world’s third-largest gun ownership rate.

 
“Finland has had two big wakeup calls in the past two or three years,” says FRANCE 24 correspondent Marcus Karlsson. He says events like these have reopened the debate over gun ownership and put pressure on the government to take action, although with dubious results.
 
“They have taken some measures to crack down on gun crime but perhaps it hasn’t been enough,” Karlsson says.

Date created : 2009-12-31

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