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Appeal court reduces Helsinki shooter's attempted murder conviction

The man's charges were reduced to attempted manslaughter while his prison sentence was cut from 10 to eight years.

Poliisit ovat sulkeneet risteysalueen, jossa seisoo punainen auto, missä kylki lommola ja sivuikkunat rikki.
The scene of the crime on the busy street of Hietalahdenkatu in Helsinki's Kamppi district in July 2019. File photo. Image: Matti Myller / Yle

The Helsinki Court of Appeal reduced the attempted murder conviction of a 32-year-old man who was previously found guilty of shooting three people in broad daylight in downtown Helsinki in the summer of 2019.

Helsinki District Court sentenced the man to a decade-long prison term for the shootings and other crimes at the end of that year.

However he was granted the leave to appeal his sentence in January 2020, and on Friday the appeal court reduced the man's 10-year prison sentence to eight years.

The unusual incident, which shocked many city residents at the time, took place on the busy street of Hietalahdenkatu in Helsinki's Kamppi district in July 2019, when the man rammed his own car into another vehicle and then opened fire on its occupants.

The attack targeted three brothers, two of whom were seriously injured in the incident.

Two of the victims fled the car, while the third, was left behind in the vehicle. The man in the car suffered a gunshot wound and was then stabbed in the thigh with a knife by the shooter.

A total of four shots were fired during the incident.

The appeal court ruled that the violence posed a serious danger to the general public, as there were several bystanders nearby.

However, court found that the attempted killings did not legally amount to particularly cruel or brutal acts and did not amount to murder, and therefore reduced the charges to attempted manslaughter.

After escaping the scene the assailant later turned himself in to the authorities.

The motives behind the incident remain unclear. However, the shooter had told investigators of a dispute between his and the victims' families. All involved parties are originally from Kosovo.

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