A high-speed car chase and shoot-out between police and a motorist in Lempäälä, Finland on Saturday ended with the police shooting the driver of the car. On Sunday, the police reported that it had detained two men that were passengers in the car shortly before the chase began. The men were later released, and the police say they are no longer suspected of any crime.
A police statement says the driver opened fire on the police car during the chase. Police officers shot back at the driver, who subsequently died of his wounds. One police officer was also injured in the incident, but not severely.
Several guns found in the car
The National Bureau of Investigation says the first man who had been a passenger in the vehicle was apprehended at a privately-owned dwelling in Lempäälä at around 10:30 pm Saturday evening. The second man was located and detained in Tampere, outside the Rieväkatu business park, at around 1:30 am Sunday morning.
The Bureau says the men were under suspicion of being involved in an aggravated firearms offence. Numerous firearms were found in the car in which the men were passengers.
Police had earlier stated that the incident began at around 3 pm on Saturday in the area's Moisio district, when law enforcement officials tried to stop a car they believed was carrying suspicious individuals. Instead of pulling over, the driver of the car sped off and the police gave pursuit. After chasing the car for several kilometers, the police managed to pull in front of the car and stop it.
Driver shot at police with homemade shotgun
Police have reported that the weapon the driver of the car used to shoot at the police was a homemade pipe shotgun. The other weapons that were found in the car were also self-constructed.
The police officer that was injured in the shoot-out is still in hospital, but is not in critical condition. Police report that the officer is doing well despite the circumstances.
The National Bureau of Investigation is investigating the driver's shooting at the police as a case of attempted murder and an aggravated firearms offence. Preliminary investigations will include searches of property and interrogation of the two men that were detained. The authorities questioned the detained suspects briefly before releasing them later in the day.
Edited at 6:00 pm with the news that the two men were released and are no longer suspected of a crime.