A local politician and two reporters have been gunned down in what is so far being described as a random shooting. The fatal incident took place in the nightlife district of a small town in Finland and a local resident has now been arrested on suspicion of the triple murder.
The man is accused of shooting the chairwoman of Imatra town council along with two female journalists in a pedestrianised part of the town. The incident happened just before midnight outside a local restaurant.
According to police spokeswoman Heli Jamsen-Turkki, two of the dead women were in their early 50s, while the third was in her mid 30s. The suspect is understood to be a 23-year-old. Police said that he made no effort to resist arrest.
Victims were shot in the head and torso, with four or five shots said to have rung out. At first, there were fears that the shooting could be terrorism related and that the gunman could have continued his rampage. However, police say there is no evidence that it was a terror attack.
Mourners have now placed candles in the snow outside the restaurant Vuokenvahti where the three women were killed. The man alleged to be involved has a criminal record, which includes theft and other violent incidents.
However, Detective Superintendent Saku Tielinen, “There is no indication of a political motive. It seems the gunman and victims didn’t know each other. All indications are that he chose his victims randomly.”
According to witnesses, the suspect pulled up in his car before shooting the women as they opened the door of the restaurant, where revellers were enjoying Christmas parties. He made no effort to flee the scene, but simply waited in his car until police arrived.
The Finnish President Sauli Niinisto sent his deepest condolences to the loved ones of the victims while Prime Minister Juha Sipila said it could be necessary to consider new security measures following the investigation into the killings.