Lone gunman opens fire in Finland shopping centre: TV
Thu, Dec 31, 2009

HELSINKI, FINLAND - At least three people were killed when a gunman opened fire at a Finnish shopping mall on Thursday, Finnish media reported, in the country's third multiple shooting incident in as many years.

There was no direct confirmation from police of the attack in Espoo, near Helsinki. A Reuters reporter at the Sello Mall saw helicopters overhead and fire trucks around the entrances of the shopping centre, which was now closed. Police will hold a news conference at 1230 GMT.

The national broadcaster YLE said four people were shot dead, while the MTV3 television station put the number of dead at three. They said police were looking for the gunman, whom media described as aged about 18.

The newspaper Ilta-Sanomat said on its website that at least seven shots were fired, but it gave no source for the information.

'When we were going out I heard sounds like shots from the third floor, and then I left,' said a mall employee, who declined to give her name.

'I paid for my groceries and I wanted to go to my car when I was told that you cannot go there,' shopper Jorma Romo told Reuters outside of the mall. 'They were hurrying people out and people were asking (why).'

The Nordic country was rocked by two school shootings in 2007 and 2008, after which it tightened gun control regulations.





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