A Porvoo hotel served as a month-long base camp for the pair of brothers suspected of opening fire on two police officers in the southern Finland town last weekend, writes daily Helsingin Sanomat (siirryt toiseen palveluun). Like other local news media, HS devotes considerable real estate to opening up the background to the shooting late Saturday night that left two officers injured, with one still in hospital.
The largest-circulation daily reports that police used a saw on the door of the brothers' motel room as they continued gathering evidence for what authorities are investigating as attempted murder. HS says that according to information it received, the men, aged 25 and 30, previously claimed that they were working at a local construction site, while one local with whom they interacted said they understood that the men were working "off the books".
The motel was about one kilometre from the site of the shooting incident. Other residents told HS that the men did not cause any trouble before Saturday night and that their Volvo estate wagon had become a familiar sight in the area.
The owner of a wholesale business opposite the scene of the shooting, Markus Lahtela, said he had seen two "mean-looking" men walking along the roadside on Saturday night. He described the duo as "the type I wouldn’t want to meet in an alley". He later recognised them in the news after they had been detained. Lahtela also told HS that there had been a series of petty crimes in the area of late – not burglaries, but minor cases of larceny.
Childhood spent in Porvoo
HS journalists did some traditional gumshoe work and interviewed locals for a profile of the brothers (siirryt toiseen palveluun), who were said to have grown up in Porvoo before moving to Sweden when the elder brother was in eighth grade. The paper learned that the older brother had competed in mixed martial arts fights in Sweden.
The older brother's acquaintances included several Finns, some of whom live in the Itä-Uusimaa region of southern Finland. "At first I was a bit shocked when I heard about it," said one source who last met the brothers about 10 years ago.
"Maybe they were a bit wild, but then we all were," the person told HS.
Another interviewee said that as a student, the older brother was known to be a shoplifter. That person claimed to have last seen one of the men about a year ago. The source described the older man as a petty crook with ties to criminal circles in Sweden and said they were not surprised to hear that the older brother is suspected to have been involved in Saturday night’s daring crime.
Swedish paper's ambush theory
Meanwhile tabloid Ilta-Sanomat reports (siirryt toiseen palveluun)that the older suspect apparently had no criminal background in Finland but had been under scrutiny for tax and accounting offences in Sweden three years ago.
IS is one of the local papers that links to Swedish evening paper Expressen (siirryt toiseen palveluun), which carries a story alleging that the men were the ones who placed a call to local emergency services on Saturday night to lure police to the Ölstens industrial area in western Porvoo. Once police were on the way, they laid in wait to ambush the unsuspecting patrol unit.
IS also references the online service of commercial broadcaster MTV (siirryt toiseen palveluun), which claims that the suspects made off with one of the injured officers' firearms. The broadcaster notes that lead investigator Kimmo Huhta-aho of the National Bureau of Investigation did not comment on the assertion when interviewed on Monday night.
Changing climate and longer summers
Tuesday’s papers also find time to focus on another pet subject in Finland – the weather. Tabloid daily Iltalehti reports that (siirryt toiseen palveluun) daytime highs reached 25.1 degrees Celsius in the Åland Islands on Monday. In Finland, 25 degrees represents a symbolic "heat threshold" when locals consider the weather to be officially "hot".
"A warm air mass is linked to a high pressure [zone] and when the sun is blazing in the sky, temperatures will rise," Foreca meteorologist Kristian Roine explained to IL, adding that the next three days will likely see highs rise above 25 degrees.
By Friday, precipitation could have a cooling effect, however conditions could heat up again over the weekend with the warm weather extending into next week.
According to the meteorologist, Finland is seeing the effects of climate change. "Heat records have been broken every year since 2010. Climate change has been real over the past 20 years or so," he added.
The last time Finland saw a balmy end to summer was in 2002. Back then temperatures exceeded 25 degrees in two locations on 3 September. The highest temperatures were 25.4 degrees recorded in Mietoinen in western Finland and 25.1 degrees in Anjalankoski in southeast Finland’s Kymenlaakso region.