TUUSULA, Finland - Was it a massacre foretold on YouTube?
An 18-year-old gunman killed seven other students and the principal during a rampage through his high school in this quiet Finnish town - and investigators suspect he revealed plans for the carnage in Internet postings in which he urges revolution and grins after taking target practice.
Investigators said the gunman, who was not identified, shot himself in the head after the shooting spree at Jokela High School in Tuusula, some 30 miles north of the capital, Helsinki. He died later at a hospital.
The teen killed five boys, two girls and the female principal with a .22-caliber pistol, police said. Authorities said one person was wounded by a bullet and about a dozen others suffered cuts and other injuries while fleeing the school. Officials said more than 400 students ages 12 through 18 were enrolled.
Witnesses described a scene of mayhem at the school in this leafy lakeside community, saying the shooter prowled the building looking for victims while shouting slogans for 'revolution.'
Police Chief Matti Tohkanen said the gunman didn't have a previous criminal record. 'He was from an ordinary family,' Tohkanen said. He said the teen belonged to a gun club and had gotten a license for the pistol Oct. 19.
Gun ownership is fairly common in Finland by European standards, but deadly shootings are rare. Finnish media reported that a school shooting in 1989 involved a 14-year-old boy who killed two other students apparently for teasing him.
Investigators were searching for connections to the shooter and a possible motive in YouTube postings that appeared to reveal plans for Wednesday's deadly attack.
One video, titled 'Jokela High School Massacre,' showed a picture of what appeared to be the Jokela school and two photos of a young man holding a handgun. Electronic music played in the background with a growling voice singing 'I am your apocalypse.'
The person who posted the video was identified in the user profile as an 18-year-old man from Finland. The posting was later removed.
The profile contained a text calling for a 'revolution against the system.'
Another video clip showed a young man clad in a dark jacket loading a clip into a handgun and firing several shots at an apple placed on the ground in a wooded area. He smiled and waved to the camera at the end of the clip.
A third clip showed photos of what appeared to be same man posing with a gun and wearing a T-shirt with the text 'Humanity is overrated.'
Christopher P. Lucas, a psychiatry professor at NYU Medical Center in New York, said YouTube provides a ready way for shooters to publicize their acts and provide some sort of justification.
And he warned that the shooting could inspire copycat attacks. 'An event like this in Finland might have an effect in the U.S.,' Lucas said.