European Student Opens Fire in Classroom

Estonian teen kills 56-year-old teacher
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 27, 2014 2:35 PM CDT
European Student Opens Fire in Classroom

A 15-year-old student shot and killed his teacher during class today in a town in southern Estonia—the first known school shooting in the European nation. Four other students were in the classroom at Paalalinna School in the town of Viljandi, a police spokeswoman says. She adds that the shooter was apprehended and no one else was injured in the early-afternoon attack at the school of 450 students. Government officials say the victim was a 56-year-old female teacher of German. Police say they had no details about a possible motive. The Postimees newspaper reports that the shooter was a good student who had recently started posting pictures of guns and war on his Facebook account.

The paper says one picture included text in English that reads: "Don't judge me cause I'm quiet. No one plans a murder out loud." Another one says, "You inspire my inner serial killer." Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves calls the slaying a tragedy: "It is not a tragedy of one school or one town; it is a tragedy for the whole of Estonia," he says in a statement. An Estonian national broadcaster reports that the boy is believed to have used a revolver; police say the weapon was legal and registered to his father. As a minor, the shooter faces up to 10 years in prison if found guilty of manslaughter. Shootings are uncommon in Estonia. The country ranks 65th in firearms ownership, with an estimated 123,000 guns in civilian use among its 1.3 million people; in contrast, the US has an average of 89 firearms per 100 people. (More school shooting stories.)

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