On Saturday night, a man gunned down three women who were enjoying a night out in Finland. The clues in this incident, which took place in Imatra (a small town of 28,000 residents near the Russian border), are both chilling and puzzling to investigators. Further complicating matters are details of the the victims’ professions — two were journalists while the other was a local councilwoman — but police tell ABC News that there’s no known political or religious motive to the killings.
The shootings occurred outside a restaurant, and police apprehended a 23-year-old suspect, who holds a criminal record for previous violent acts and petty theft. Thus far, the investigation has led authorities to believe that the shootings happened randomly and that the victims did not know the suspect. Perhaps the most chilling detail involves how the suspect allegedly pulled up to the restaurant in his car, shot the three women, and did not flee. He simply waited in his car until police arrived and “silently and peacefully” departed with authorities.
All three women were struck multiple times in the torso with a hunting rifle, and the chilling incident saw hundreds gather for a candlelight vigil in the bloodied snow. Finnish President Sauli Niinisto stated that the killings “shocked all of Finland,” and he issued the “deepest condolences” to the families of the victims.
Homicides by gun are rare in Finland, especially in a small town such as Imatra. The country, known for its strong hunting traditions, tightened its gun laws following a pair of school shootings in 2007 and 2008. About 650,000 registered gun owners reside in Finland.