Pekka-Eric Auvinen PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 08 November 2008 16:07

Pekka-Eric Auvinen

Born: June 4, 1989. Tuusula, Finland.

Died: November 7, 2007,  Jokela , part of the municipality of Tuusula, Finland

Age: 18

Cause of death: Self inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Notable because: Above average intelligence kid takes anti-depressants, reacts badly to being bullied, makes and posts a video on YouTube announcing a massacre at Jokela school, then shows up at school with a SIG Mosquito .22 calibre pistol and kills 10 people before shooting his own head.

 

The Jokela school shooting occurred on 7 November 2007, at Jokela High School, a public secondary school in the town of Jokela,  Tuusula, Finland. The gunman was 18-year-old Pekka-Eric Auvinen,  one of the school's students.

Auvinen killed nine people: five male students (ages 16-18) and one female adult student (age 25); the school principal, Helena Kalmi (age 61); the school nurse (age 43); and Auvinen himself. One other person suffered gunshot wounds, and eleven people were injured by shattering glass while escaping from the school building. The morning of the incident, Auvinen posted a video on YouTube announcing the massacre at the school.

This was the second school shooting in the history of Finland. The previous incident occurred in 1989 at the Raumanmeri school in Rauma, when a 14-year-old fatally shot two fellow students. Less than a year after the Jokela shooting, on 23 September, 2008, another one took place, in Kauhajoki, where a gunman shot and killed 10 people before killing himself.

At approximately 11:40 local time (09:40 UTC), the shooter Pekka-Eric Auvinen fired his first shot. The emergency services received the first phone call at 11:43. Most victims were later found in the entrance hallway of the school. At 11:44, following the first shot, school principal Helena Kalmi ordered all students and teachers to barricade themselves in their classrooms. Instead of doing this herself, the principal placed herself in the way of the shooter and tried to compel him to surrender. Watching from their classroom window, students saw Kalmi first fleeing the attacker, but later she went back. She was shot seven times in view of a group of ninth graders (last grade of junior high school) in the school yard. Later the school nurse, 43, tried to help injured students, but Auvinen shot and killed her too.

The shooter then began walking around the school, knocking and pounding on classroom doors and firing through the doors and shooting people at random. He shouted orders at some of the students, proclaimed a revolution, and urged the students to destroy school property. He also pointed his gun at some people without shooting them. The victims sustained multiple injuries to the upper body and head. In addition, he poured two-stroke engine fuel (a gasoline and oil mixture) on corridor walls and floors, but he was not able to light it.

A police patrol arrived at 11:55, followed later by about one hundred police officers at about 12:30, including the Karhuryhmä special operations unit. Even off-duty police officers arrived and surrounded the school. When the police tried to start negotiations, the shooter answered by firing a shot at the police at 12:04 local time. No officers were hit.

The attack ended after 40 minutes when Auvinen turned the gun on himself, inflicting an ultimately fatal wound to his head at 12:24. The police did not however storm the school until 1.5 hours later at 13:53, more than two hours after being alerted at 11.45. Auvinen was found in a school toilet still alive but unconscious at 13:54. The police report does not mention whether the police had ruled out the possibility of a bomb or incendiary attack when they decided not to storm the school and instead check one room at a time for other shooters. The police were not able to secure the building until shortly before 16:00. The police officers did not open fire at any time. Police later stated that some of the victims had been shot up to 20 times.

Auvinen was taken to the Töölö Hospital of the Helsinki University Central Hospital at 14:45 but died the same evening at 22:15 from his injuries

Pekka-Eric Auvinen described himself in oxymoronic terms, such as, "a cynical existentialist, antihuman humanist, antisocial social darwinist [sic], realistic idealist and godlike atheist" on his YouTube user page Sturmgeist89. In the investigation by the police it was confirmed that he had been a victim of school bullying for years.

According to one of his teachers, he was above average academically, and took an interest in history, philosophy and both extreme right and left wing movements.

He had used selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) -antidepressants irregularly since he was 17 years old. These antidepressants are said to cause suicidal tendencies as a side-effect in early ages between 18-24.

The Auvinen family lives in Jokela. The family comprises a father, who is a part-time musician, a mother who was a deputy member of the Tuusula municipal council, and an 11-year-old brother.

Auvinen had received his gun licence three weeks before the school shootings. He was a registered member of the Helsinki Shooting Club. A club spokesman revealed that Auvinen had only attended a single one-hour training session.

The weapon, which has been described by the media as a "small-calibre handgun", was a SIG Mosquito .22 calibre pistol that had been legally obtained and registered to Auvinen on October 19. He had been given the licence since he was a member of a local shooting club and had no previous criminal record.

In Finland the police usually require a shooting hobby to begin with a .22 calibre weapon. The police cannot mandate that sports shooting should take place in a club, or even in any kind of company; in the case of relatively low risk weapons, the permit decision can be based entirely on information provided by the applicant. Membership in a shooting club is nevertheless considered a risk control. Auvinen himself wanted to buy a more powerful Beretta 9 mm pistol, but the application was rejected by police.

Pekka-Eric Auvinen uploaded a home-made video entitled "Jokela High School Massacre - 11/7/2007" to YouTube announcing the "massacre" hours prior to the shooting. KMFDM's "Stray Bullet" was used as background music. Videos of him shooting his new gun had been uploaded weeks prior to the shooting. Several hours after the event, YouTube suspended some videos belonging to the username Sturmgeist89 due to relations with the shootings.  His previous YouTube account name was "naturalselector89", which he used from March until it was suspended in October. Many of his videos were about other shootings and violent incidents, including the Columbine High School massacre, the Waco Siege, the Tokyo sarin gas attack, and bombing during the Iraq invasion.

According to his YouTube profile, his interests were natural selection and hate for humanity. He stated that he was hoping to inspire a revolution of the "small minority of strong-minded and intelligent individuals" against the "idiocracy" of the "weak-minded masses". He did not want anything or anyone to be blamed for the shooting, and had planned it "in [his] own head".

He left a media package on Rapidshare, a hosting site, explaining his actions and his motives for the shooting. It includes details of the attack, a manifesto, his "loves & hates", some images of himself and a video of him firing a handgun. "I am prepared to fight and die for my cause," read a posting by Sturmgeist. "I, as a natural selector, will eliminate all who I see unfit, disgraces of human race and failures of natural selection." Sturmgeist means "storm spirit" in German. His photo and a message that he would "kill people at jokela high school today in the name of anonymous" was posted on the image board 4chan the same day. It however has been stated by the Finnish police that they could not find a connection between Auvinen and "Anonymous".

Several newspapers have suggested similarities between and inspirations for Auvinen's actions in the Columbine shootings. Auvinen's YouTube videos included footage related to Columbine. The KMFDM track used in his video, "Stray Bullet", was also used on the website of Columbine shooter Eric Harris. Pekka had also uploaded YouTube videos of himself playing the video game Doom, a favourite among the Columbine gunmen.

The police found 76 shells and hundreds of rounds of ammunition at the scene. Flammable liquid was found poured on the walls and floors of the second floor, suggesting Auvinen had attempted to set the school on fire. They also found Auvinen's suicide note and began analysing his Internet postings.

A spokesman for the cyber crime department of Helsinki police has stated that "it's highly probable that there was some form of contact between Pekka-Eric Auvinen and" the 14-year-old boy arrested in October on suspicion of planning an attack on his school in a suburb of Philadelphia.

A 2,000-page police report into the shooting was released in April 2008.

 Finland – Flags were flown at half-staff on Thursday, November 8, 2007 throughout the country by officials and private entities alike and the Finnish government held a moment of silence while in session. The Prime Minister, Matti Vanhanen sent "his government's heartfelt condolences", strongly noting the need of the media, the parents and the schools to discuss the incident in correct light. The Finnish National Board of Education immediately posted directions for the teachers and principals on how to discuss the shootings with pupils, alongside with shorter instructions for parents. President Tarja Halonen sent her condolences as well.The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland has opened a crisis center, situated in the Church of Jokela, in which professional help is administered to those afflicted by the tragedy.

The Lutheran Archbishop Jukka Paarma of Turku, the Orthodox Archbishop Leo of Karelia, the Catholic Bishop Józef Wróbel of Helsinki and other church authorities have expressed their condolences to the relatives and loved ones of those who died in the massacre.Throughout the country, church buildings have been open for anyone seeking pastoral care; the incident has also been a major topic in religious services, many of which have been specifically held because of the incident.

On 9 November 2007, the Finnish government decided to drop objections to the European Union directive on firearms. This will likely mandate a common European minimum age limit of 18 years for gun ownership. After the decision was announced, interior minister Anne Holmlund commented through her aide that it wasn't a direct consequence of the shootings, as the directive had been prepared for a long time and "wouldn't have prevented the events anyway."

On 13 November 2007, the Finnish Government announced that it would set up a "Commission of Inquiry to investigate the Jokela school shooting and events that bear relevance to the incident".

According to the Finnish Ministry of Justice, a legislative process aimed at establishing an enabling Act covering the Terms of an official Investigative Commission would be finalized by the end of March 2008. The plan is to have a Final Report, covering the Jokela school shooting incident, finalized in one year. 

 Estonia – President Toomas Hendrik Ilves sent a message of condolences on behalf of the Estonian people to President Halonen, saying he had been shocked and saddened by the news.

 Iceland – President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson sent a message of condolences on behalf of the Icelandic people to Finnish President Tarja Halonen. “On the behalf of me and the Icelandic people, I wish to expres our condolences to the Finnish people for the tragic event in Tuusula earlier today.”

 Ireland – President Mary McAleese, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and a number of Irish schoolchildren expressed their condolences to Finnish President Tarja Halonen on November 12 during Halonen's state visit to the country.

 NorwayKing Harald V sent a message of condolences to Finnish President Tarja Halonen. “It is with deep sorrow that I have received the news of the tragic of the Jokela secondary school in Tusby yesterday, which resulted in such a meaningless loss of lives. I send you my heartfelt condolences and my sincerest sympathies to all the bereaved and the Finnish people.”

 SwedenKing Carl XVI Gustaf expressed his condolences and described the shooting as a horrific affair. "Unfortunately this sort of thing is spreading around the world. That is odd," the king added at a news conference in Luleå. The Swedish TV-channel SVT 2 would also show the movie Elephant the day after the massacre but they took it off the schedule in respect to Finland. Instead, the movie Swimming Pool was shown. 

 European Union – President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso said in a message to the Finnish prime minister Matti Vanhanen that he had been "shocked and profoundly saddened to learn about the horrific campus murders." 

On November 9, 2007, the Finnish police rushed to three schools due to threats of attacks posted on the Internet. One of the schools was Hyrylä high school in Tuusula and the others in Kirkkonummi and Maaninka. The 16-year-old boy who posted a video titled "Maaninka massacre" on YouTube was arrested on November 11. The suspect has stated that the video was a joke.

Three weeks after the Jokela shootings, the Finnish police, flooded with hoax threats, made a public plea for threats against schools to cease. The police reminded prospective perpetrators of severe judicial consequences as well as of the feelings of the families touched by the Jokela events.

The Kauhajoki school shooting was a school shooting that occurred on 23 September 2008, at Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences in Kauhajoki, a city in Western Finland. The gunman, 22-year-old culinary arts student Matti Juhani Saari, shot and fatally injured ten people with a semi-automatic pistol, before shooting himself in the head. He died a few hours later in Tampere University Hospital. Finnish police stated that Saari "very likely" knew Pekka-Eric Auvinen.

In neighbouring Sweden, two boys, aged 16 and 17, were arrested in Stockholm for conspiring to murder their school's principal and janitor. According to the principal, "they had spoken about and glorified Columbine High and what happened in Finland."

 

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 December 2008 15:28
 

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