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11 killed in Finnish campus shooting

KAUHAJOKI, Finland, Sept. 23 (UPI) -- A chef student at a Finnish vocational school went on a shooting spree Tuesday, leaving 10 others dead before fatally wounding himself, officials said.

The 22-year-old student, identified as Matti Juhani Saari, shot himself in the head after opening fire with an automatic pistol inside the Kauhajoki school in western Finland. He was transported to a hospital where he died of his wounds, Helsingin Sanomat reported.

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"He was very well prepared," Jukka Forsberg, a school caretaker, told The Daily Telegraph. "He walked calmly. He didn't say anything. He was cold-blooded.

"I looked through the window and he immediately shot at me. Then I called the emergency number. Thank God I was not hit, he fired at me but I was running zigzag. I ran for my life."

Finnish Interior Minister Anne Holmlund revealed Saari had been questioned by police just the day before about videos posted recently on YouTube that showed him firing a pistol, The Guardian reported. She said no further steps were thought to be necessary at that time.

Police said they thought Saari shot and killed nine people and that another person may have died of carbon monoxide poisoning from a fire that broke out during the shooting.

Officials evacuated the building, which had about 150 students, faculty and staff in it at the time of the late-morning incident.

At least one person with gunshot wounds was hospitalized in serious condition, Helsingin Sanomat said. Most of those hurt sustained minor injuries, officials said. Authorities weren't sure how many were injured.

Finnish officials said the government had taken steps to prevent such a mass shooting after a similar one last November at Jokela High School in which eight died, The Guardian reported. Anita Lehikoinen, director of higher education at the Finnish Education Ministry, said the vocational school's administrators were not to blame.

"The institution had taken all the action. They had a multi-professional team of psychologists, social workers in the community and also a pastor," she said. "But still we saw this kind of tragedy take place."

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