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Hundreds witness shooting in Kuopio - elderly woman killed

Gunman - a licenced gun owner - powerfully intoxicated, with only vague recollections of events

Hundreds witness shooting in Kuopio - elderly woman killed
Hundreds witness shooting in Kuopio - elderly woman killed
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Hundreds of people in the normally peaceful city of Kuopio in the east of Finland were witnesses to a shooting on Friday in which an elderly woman was killed in the city's open market by a man wielding a shotgun and a pistol. Two men were also injured by the gunfire.
      The victims are believed to have been complete outsiders. The 80-year-old woman who died had reportedly approached the man to scold him after he had fired into the air, breaking a street lamp.
      A witness says that he then shot the woman several times, and she died later in hospital.
      One of those injured by the gunfire was the woman’s husband, and the third was a foreign tourist.
After firing the shots, the gunman tried to flee in a Ford Taunus, but crashed into cars parked a few blocks away, where police were able to apprehend him.
      The 52-year-old gunman was very drunk at the time of the shooting. He had no identity papers, and would not tell police his name on Friday.
      On Saturday he did not have a clear recollection of the course of events, remembering only shooting the old woman.
      He held permits for four firearms. Before the shootings, he had consumed alcohol at home and cleaned his boat. There had been no arguments, and he had no criminal record. He has adult children.
      The man is on a disability pension, and says that he has suffered from mental health problems and insomnia.
The event caused considerable shock in Kuopio. Business at the open market was back to normal on Saturday, but the shooting was the main topic of conversation.
      A crisis centre helped people needing counselling, and about 50 people had gone to the centre for help on Saturday.

Helsingin Sanomat

  25.5.2009 - TODAY
 Hundreds witness shooting in Kuopio - elderly woman killed

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