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Pelkosenniemi shooter facing nine counts of attempted murder

A man who barricaded himself in his home in Pelkosenniemi, eastern Lapland, in June and fired a rifle and shotgun repeatedly at police is now facing nine counts of attempted murder.

Poliisiautoja suljetulla valtatie 5:llä.
Police surrounded the house during the shooter's 12-hour standoff. Image: Uula Kuvaja / Yle

During the early morning hours of Sunday the 26th of June, police responded to reports of gunfire in a residential area of the small eastern Lapland community of Pelkosenniemi.

Upon arrival, police met with several hours of rifle and shotgun fire from a homeowner who had barricaded himself inside his house. None of the police were injured, but several of the shots came within two metres of the law enforcement officers. The suspect fired upon officers twice after he had agreed by phone to surrender.

The accused in the case that has now come before the Lapland District Court. He had been drinking the evening before the events and was found to have an alcohol blood content of 1.6 parts per thousand when taken into custody.

During preliminary investigations the accused did not give a motive for the shooting, but claimed to have aimed his weapons so as not to injure anyone. Both of his weapons were legally licensed.

The prosecutor in the case is pressing for the man to charged with nine counts of attempted murder and endangerment. The nearest homes were just 50 metres away, and there were boaters on the nearby River Kemi when the accused began firing. The shooter may also face charges for presenting an unlawful threat and resisting officers.

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