DEVELOPING: 1 dead, 10 injured in Kuopio college sword attack

Police say they will hold a press conference at 17:00 to give more details on the incident.

File picture showing exterior of Herman shopping centre, Kuopio / Credit: Website

One person is dead and at least ten injured after a sword attack at a college in Kuopio. One of those wounded in the attack is a police officer whose injuries are said to be minor; while two other people are in serious condition in hospital.

It happened at the Savo Vocational College which has a number of classrooms inside Herman Shopping Centre. Police say they first got a call at 12:29 alerting them to a possible stabbing incident.

Officers responded to the scene and by 12:37 the suspect was already in custody. Police discharged their firearms and the suspect was seriously injured in the arrest.

Police have said the man is “a native Finnish man”, who was armed with an “edged weapon and had a firearm.” He is suspected of murder and several other violent crimes.

Eye witnesses told local media that the man first attacked a girl with a sword, and that he may have been a student at the college.

Police have worked to stop rumours spreding about Tuesday afternoon’s incident.

“There have been rumours about an armed person moving in the area of Petonen in Kuopio” Eastern Finland Police writes in English on their official Twitter account.

“This information is false. There is no imminent threat to bystanders regarding the situation in the facilities of Hermanni.” 

Police are holding a press conference at 17:00 to update more information.

Assistance available for people who need it 

The Finnish Red Cross says it’s opened its doors at Puijonkatu 9 in Kuopio for students, relatives and friends of people at Savo Vocational Collages where trained volunteers will provide support on Tuesday until 22:00.

Kuopio University Hospital says anyone concerned about relatives who might be injured can call 017 172 000 for more information.

For the time being the Herman Shopping Centre is closed while the investigation continues, except for the K-Rauta store.

Messages of condolence 

Senior politicians have been commenting on the incident.

A statement from President Sauli Niinistö‘s office says he is shocked at the events in Kuopio.

“[The President] expresses his deepest condolences to the relatives of the deceased. To the other victims, the president wishes them the strength to recover” the statement says.

Prime Minister Antti Rinne (SDP) says “the violence at Savo Vocational College in Kuopio is shocking and completely unacceptable. I have discussed with the Director General of Police and the government is monitoring the situation closely. On behalf of myself and the entire government, I extend my condolences to all the relatives.”

Interior Minister Maria Ohisalo (Green) who is responsibly for policing and internal security, tweets “the events in Kuopio are shocking. My condolences to the victims and relatives. Thanks to the authorities for their prompt action. I wish peace of mind to the police and other authorities involved.”