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Finland student kills 10, himself

Police had questioned him the day before about violent video he posted. Notes he left also expressed hatred.

September 24, 2008|From the Associated Press

KAUHAJOKI, FINLAND — A student killed 10 people Tuesday at his trade school, burned some of the bodies with firebombs and then fatally shot himself in the head, one day after police questioned him about a violent video he had posted on YouTube.

Witnesses said panic broke out at the Kauhajoki School of Hospitality, 180 miles northwest of Helsinki, as the masked gunman opened fire in a classroom during an exam. About 150 students were present, and at least two who were shot survived.

A chilling YouTube video with a young man firing a pistol and warning "You will die next" had caught the eye of police, who questioned him but said they didn't have enough evidence to hold him or seize his weapon.

Finnish news media identified the gunman as Matti Juhani Saari, 22, a student at the school, which offers courses in catering, tourism, nursing and home economics.

Police declined to identify him, saying he did not have a criminal record.

Jari Neulaniemi, the officer leading the investigation, said the attacker was armed with a .22-caliber pistol. The gunman left two handwritten messages at a dormitory, saying he had planned the attack since 2002 and that he hated the human race, Neulaniemi said

The rampage bore eerie similarities to a school massacre in Finland last year in which an 18-year-old gunman killed eight people and himself. Both men posted violent clips on YouTube before the shootings, both were fascinated by the 1999 Columbine school shootings in Colorado, both attacked their own schools, and both shot themselves in the head.

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