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Man charged with 7 counts of attempted murder for shooting at police

Police officers fired at the man, incapacitating him before taking him into custody.

A prosecutor found no grounds to launch a preliminary investigation into the police use of weapons in the Jämsä incident. Image: Juuso Stoor / Yle
Yle News

A prosecutor in Central Finland has charged a man from Jämsä with violently resisting an official and seven counts of attempted murder.

The charges stem from a shooting incident in the municipality of Jämsä last November, in which the man threatened police officers and then shot at them.

Officers from the Central Finland Police Department returned fire, wounding the man before taking him into custody. The confrontation took place in the village of Evajärvi, half-way between Tampere and Jyväskylä.

The sequence of events began when a police patrol went to a private residence on a routine assignment. The purpose was to check the resident's condition, but since he did not respond to the police's verbal calls, officers decided to check the house.

The first patrol left the house after the man threatened them with a firearm.

Following a lengthy standoff, seven officers entered the house, accompanied by a police dog. The man then shot at least twice at the officers, who returned fire.

When he shot at the officers, some of them were in a kitchenette with no way to escape except through a window. Police detained the suspect, who had been incapacitated by a police bullet.

No probe into police use of force

Detective Chief Inspector Hans Fagerström of the National Bureau of Investigation told Yle that apart from the man and the police officers, there was no one else in the house at the time, and that none of the officers were injured.

According to the subpoena, the accused used a handgun and also had a rifle as well as cartridges for both weapons.

A prosecutor ruled in January that there was no reason to begin a preliminary investigation into the use of weapons by four officers in the incident.

The prosecutor declared that the use of lethal force was appropriate and necessary because lesser means of force had not worked.

The suspect has been in custody since November.

Since 2000, ten people have died as a result of use of force by law enforcement officers in Finland. This includes a prison guard shot by accident during a training exercise, and a detainee who died of undetermined causes after being fired at with a taser.

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