Gunman kills ten at Finland School
Violence erupted Tuesday at a Finnish college, as a masked gunman opened fire on fellow students and police, killing ten before taking his own life.
Local officials identified the assailant as Matti Juhani Saari, according to CNN.
150 students were on the campus of Kauhajoki School of Hospitality in southwestern Finland when Saari began firing in a classroom just before 11:00AM. The rampage lasted nearly 90 minutes, according to Finnish broadcaster YLE.
According YLE, a maintenance worker at the university spotted a masked individual in black walking into the school carrying a large bag.
"I heard several dozen rounds of shots," said maintenance worker Jukka Forsberg. " In other words, it was an automatic pistol. I saw some female students who were wailing and moaning, and one managed to escape out the back door."
The horrific shooting comes just one day after authorities released Saari after disturbing videos surfaced on the internet, according to MSNBC.
Postings on the popular video sharing website YouTube showed Saari firing a handgun at a firing range. Saari's profile also contained a video tribute to the two teens responsible for the Columbine High School shootings in 1999.
Although police questioned Saari Monday, according to Interior Minister Anne Holmlund, authorities were forced to release the 22-year-old having no legal reason to hold him.
MSNBC reports that Saari walked into the school carrying a .22-caliber pistol and a bag filled with explosives, according to police spokesperson Jari Neulaniemi. Police found two handwritten messages in Saari's school dormitory saying he planned the attacks since 2002.
This is the second school massacre in Finland in less than a year, a horrific trend which was not lost on Finland's elected officials.
"We have experienced a tragic day," said Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen, expressing condolences to the families of the victims Wednesday.