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Leaders extend condolences after Imatra killings

Tiina Wilén-Jäppinen, Imatra’s city council chair, was killed along with two journalists that wrote for the local Uutisvuoksi newspaper in Imatra late Saturday evening in what was apparently a random shooting. The chair of Finland’s Social Democratic Party Antti Rinne says he knew Wilén-Jäppinen well.

The Imatra murder suspect is a 23-year-old local man who had been in trouble with the law before. Image: Tommi Parkkinen / Yle

Social Democratic Party Chair Antti Rinne has posted his condolences about the senseless shooting deaths of three women in Imatra. One of the deceased is a fellow party member, who worked as the chair of the Imatra city council.

“I am deeply disturbed by the news. Three people lost their lives in what was apparently a random act of murder. One of the three, Tiina Wilén-Jäppinen, was an important and close person to me. I worked with her in several different situations,” he wrote on Facebook.

A press release from Prime Minister and Centre Party Chair Juha Sipilä also expressed his condolences to the victims’ families and loved ones. Sipilä said while Finland is still one of the safest countries in the world, acts like the Imatra killings are still possible.

“The police will conduct a full investigation and I am confident that the details of the case will be ascertained,” he said.

Interior Minister Paula Risikko of the National Coalition Party also promised a thorough examination, but said that at the moment, it seems as if the fatal crime was not politically motivated. 

“We can’t reach inside anyone’s head. Maybe once we learn more about the background, we can be more vigilant in the future. These are partially mental health issues, which present a challenge. How can we prevent such situations, when someone’s mind becomes disturbed?” she asked.