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Officials Express Shock, Urge Thorough Investigation

Officials expressed shock and sadness after hearing news of Thursday's shootings in Espoo. Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen said that more cooperation is needed to prevent such tragedies. President Tarja Halonen commented that the type of violence represented by the shootings is unacceptable.

Tarja Halonen
Tarja Halonen Image: YLE

"Of course we all feel sympathy for the families of the victims and commiserate with them, but all of us must strive to ensure that the safety of people and their interaction will be better next year," said President Halonen.

According to the President, Finland is still a safe country, but these events show that much still needs to be improved.

"By in large, by international comparison, we are a safe country, but by European or Nordic measures...well...we are not as well placed as one would wish," Halonen told YLE.

Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen said Thursday that special focus must be given to where the shooter got his gun.

"Attention is turning to the large number of handguns in our country. There is a need for very broad cooperation within our society to prevent these kinds of tragedies," stated Vanhanen.

Interior Minister Anne Holmlund thanked police and rescue services for their swift and professional response to the day's events.

"I consider it very important that the background to the violent crime is thoroughly investigated," said Holmlund.

Sources: YLE

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