HELSINKI — An 18-year-old Finn who has confessed to killing two students and injuring seven others in a weekend shooting spree in a small Finnish town was on Monday remanded in custody, media reported.
The man, named by media as Eero Hiltunen, was after a drawn-out hearing at the Hyvinkaeae district court ordered to remain detained late Monday afternoon on two counts of murder and seven attempted murders, the Huvudstadsbladed daily reported in its online edition.
One of those injured in the attack early Saturday was a 23-year-old policewoman who was fighting for her life, chief inspector at the National Bureau of Investigation, Mika Ihaksinen, told AFP.
A minute of silence was held in the town of Hyvinkaeae, a city of 45,000 people about 50 kilometres (30 miles) north of Helsinki early Monday. Flags were flying at half-mast in the town for the second straight day, as candles and flowers covered the ground at the scene.
The gunman opened fire in the early hours of Saturday morning from a rooftop, aiming at two pubs in front of which many young people had gathered. He was arrested several hours later without resistance.
The camouflage-clad gunman has admitted to the attack but has provided no motive, saying he shot at people at random.
"He has admitted to the crimes, and he has told us in detail about the acts committed," Ihaksinen said.
"In the interrogation he's totally incapable of explaining anything at all. He says none of the targets were specific targets, he just shot at people standing outside," he said.
He did however target the policewoman as she arrived on the scene and was getting off from her patrol car.
She has undergone three rounds of surgery so far.
"Her condition is highly critical. It can't get any worse. But she's still alive," Ihaksinen said.
The injuries of the six other people were not life-threatening, he added.
Police said the gunman had been out with friends earlier in the evening, before leaving to pick up three firearms, including a hunting rifle, out of a relative's locked weapons cabinet.
The three weapons were seized from the suspect, who was not in possession of any gun permits, police said, adding that he had no criminal record.
Ihaksinen said he was "not known to be a member of any extremist groups and none of his friends can provide an explanation" for his attack.
An 18-year-old woman was killed on the spot while a 19-year-old man later died from his injuries. Both were students at a local technical college.
Finland has in recent years been hit by several cases of deadly shootings by teenagers.
On September 23, 2008, a student who went on a murderous rampage at a school at Kauhajoki in the southwest killed 10 people before turning his gun on himself.
In a similar incident on November 7, 2007 at Jokela, not far from Hyvinkaeae, an 18-year-old killed seven classmates and the headmistress then shot himself in the head.
Copyright © 2013 AFP. All rights reserved. More »