Police say they’re still hunting for suspects described as “armed and dangerous” after two officers were shot and injured in Porvoo in the early hours of Sunday morning.
The incident happened on Koneistajantie, in a light industrial area of the south coast town as the officers were responding to a call, but were “immediately shot” police say in their latest statement.
One of the officers has already been treated and released from hospital, while the other is in a serious but stable – and not life-threatening – condition.
“We have been able to talk with the injured officers, and the sequence of events is largely known to us” says Kimmo Huhta-aho Director of Investigation at the National Bureau of Investigation.
A massive police operation into Sunday morning – including checkpoints on the motorway leaving Porvoo, helicopter searches and an armed tactical response team – failed to catch the shooters.
Huhta-aho is urging members of the public who saw someone walking or driving in what is usually a quiet part of Porvoo, to come forward and give their information to the police.
Police Chief warns of rising dangers for officers
Finland’s Chief of Police Seppo Kolehmainen has also released a statement in response to the shooting incident, highlighting the growing dangers for officers.
“Every day the police endanger themselves in order to keep society safe. It’s our job, to be protectors at all times. Violence against Finnish police is therefore violence against Finnish society and we can’t allow that” says Kolehmainen.
“Violence against the police has doubled since the millennium. Last year police mission statements mentioned the words pistol, shotgun, rifle or assault rifle almost seven thousand times” he said, adding that before the Porvoo incident police officers had been shot twice this year, and threatened with a gun nine times.
Kolehmainen says that in recent years officers have been given new protective gear and the equipment may have saved the lives of the police officers who were shot in Porvoo.
“The entire organisation must support the individual police officers with the best equipment, training and leadership. However a field patrol may still face dangers that even careful planning and equipment cannot always be prepared for” he said.