Prosecutor to probe police over Finnish school shooting

Other News Materials 30 September 2008 20:41 (UTC +04:00)

A Finnish prosecutor was to probe police over events in the run-up to a school shooting in western Finland a week ago that claimed 11 lives, reports said Tuesday.

The probe was linked to the fact that police had allowed the 22-year-old man who killed 10 people to keep his gun, dpa reported.

The gunman, identified as Matti Saari, had been interviewed by a police officer Monday, on the eve of the shooting after he had posted videos on the internet of himself firing a gun at a shooting range.

The day after the interview Saari went on a rampage, shooting 10 people - eight female students, a male student and a male teacher.

Saari died of self-inflicted wounds. He left messages saying he hated mankind in his flat near the trade school in Kauhajoki.

As of this week, stricter rules were in force for gun permits including that two police officers were to jointly interview prospective applicants.

A first-time applicant was also not to be allowed to get a license for a handgun without having been a member of a shooting club for at least a year.

The shooting in Kauhajoki came less than a year after eight people, including six students, were killed in another high school shooting in Jokela, 60 kilometres north of Helsinki.

Interior Ministry estimates suggest there are 1.6 million registered weapons, mainly for hunting, owned by about 650,000 people.