Officers arrested the suspect near Hyvinkaa, some five hours after he fired several shots from a low rooftop at people gathered outside a restaurant, said Detective Chief Inspector Markku Tuominen.
The local man, who had no criminal record, surrendered peacefully and has acknowledged the shootings, police said. “He has recounted the course of events in some detail, but he has not given any reason for what led to these events,” said Mika Ihaksinen from the National Bureau of Investigation. “At the moment it looks like the shooting was random.”
The gunman killed a woman and man — both aged 18 — and critically wounded a 23-year-old female police officer who arrived at the scene. Six other wounded people were being treated in hospital. The victims were not identified, but the dead included a member of a local Finnish baseball team, and the federation responded by canceling all top baseball league games this weekend in the country.
The suspect, a resident of Hyvinkaa, 50 kilometres north of Helsinki, did not have a firearms permit. The two guns — a small-bore rifle and a hunting rifle — found nearby were legally registered, police said, but it was not clear how the shooter had acquired them. After the shooting, the suspect fled the scene.
Police arrested him outside the town, about an hour after they received tips from the public that a man in camouflage fatigues was seen moving suspiciously in Hyvinkaa center. Shootings are not uncommon in Finland, where there are 6,50,000 officially recognised gun owners in a population of 5.4 million people in a country with strong hunting traditions.