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Finland: Child dead and two wounded at school shooting near Helsinki

One student was killed and two others wounded after a 12-year-old opened fire at a secondary school in southern Finland on Tuesday morning, according to police officers. 

The suspect was arrested later that day, they added. 

Heavily armed police cordoned off the Viertola school - a large educational institution including lower and upper secondary schools with a total of about 800 students - in the city of Vantaa, near Helsinki. 

Officers were alerted to the shooting just after 9:00 a.m. local time. 

"The day started in a horrifying way," wrote Finnish Interior Minister Mari Rantanen on X. 

"There has been a shooting incident at the Viertola school in Vantaa. I can only imagine the pain and worry that many families are experiencing at the moment."

"The suspected perpetrator has been caught," he added. 

One of the students died instantly after being shot, Chief of Police Ilkka Koskimäki from the Eastern Uusimaa Police Department told a news conference. 

The other two were seriously wounded, he said.

The weapon used in the shooting was a registered handgun that was licensed to the suspect’s relative, Detective Inspector Kimmo Hyvärinen said.

Authorities asked people in the area to stay away from the school and to remain indoors while not letting in strangers. 

The school, housed in two locations, also includes special education classes.

The suspect was detained in the Helsinki area less than one hour after the shooting with a handgun in his possession, police said. 

He admitted to the shooting in an initial police hearing but there is no immediate word of the motive, police said. 

They added that the case is being investigated as a murder and two attempted murders.

Finnish President Alexander Stubb and Prime Minister Petteri Orpo offered