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THURSDAY 15:00: Friend says Saari called him shortly after school shooting

Saari confided earlier that he had been bullied while at school


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The Finnish weekly magazine 7 päivää carries an article today in which a friend of the Kauhajoki school shooting gunman Matti Juhani Saari claims that Saari called him shortly after killing ten people in a classroom.
      "We greeted each other quite normally, and I asked him in the normal way what he was up to", says the student, who was named in the paper as Rauno.
      "He announced in a perfectly calm voice that he had shot ten people at the school and he was calling to say goodbye."
      Rauno, who studies somewhere other than Kauhajoki, reports that the call came in on Tuesday morning at 11:53.
     
In the newspaper interview, Rauno says that he then asked his friend several times to repeat what he had just said, and that Saari had repeated the admission perfectly calmly.
      The paper additionally claims that Saari said he had been planning the act for two years, according to Rauno's account. He had further requested during the final call that Rauno arrange for his body to be cremated.
      "Finally he said something like 'Goodbye, mate'".
     
Rauno reports that he had known Matti Saari for several years.
      Already in the early stages of their friendship, Saari had apparently complained that he had been badly teased and bullied while at school, in particular in secondary school.
      The bullying had continued into lukio, or upper secondary education leading to university or polytechnic admission.
      "He dropped out of upper secondary and said he wanted to go into the catering branch, because there are usually more girls there than boys", states Rauno.
     
Rauno says that around two years ago he began to notice that his friend had changed in somewhat scary fashion.
      Saari began to show off shooting video-clips he had found on the YouTube site, and had told him of his admiration for the American school shootings.
      Eighteen months ago Rauno had received a message overnight, in which Saari said he was "going to do something big and shoot a lot of people in a school somewhere".
      "I called him back in the morning and expressed my astonishment at the message, but he just grunted and said it was mostly only kidding around."
     
According to Rauno's account, Saari sought treatment of some kind last summer, and was given tranquilisers.
      Rauno says he became concerned when Saari had told him he intended to take up shooting.
      "I asked him a couple of times, I hope you aren't planning to do anything awful, but he just grunted again and said 'No, no, I'm not'".

More on this subject:
 Gunman Saari said he was enjoying the situation, eyewitnesses report - police describe killings as slaughter

Helsingin Sanomat


  25.9.2008 - TODAY

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