Gunman kills wife and disabled daughters

An 88-year-old gunman on today killed his two daughters and shot his wife before turning the gun on himself in northern Finland, police said.

His wife died later in the hospital.

The two mentally disabled daughters – both in their 50s – died immediately from gunshot wounds at home, police said. Later, the gunman went to a local health centre and shot his bedridden wife before returning home, where he killed himself.

The wife, also in her 80s, was flown to a regional hospital where she later died, police said. They declined to identify the family. The shootings occurred in the afternoon in the town of Ylitornio, 500 miles north of the capital, Helsinki.

“This was a totally unexpected act. At the moment, there is no explanation for it,” said Helena Puontila, a doctor at the Ylitornio health centre.

“The staff are still completely bewildered as no one could have suspected such a thing.”

Officers said they arrived at the health centre within minutes of receiving the alarm, and later managed to talk by phone to the gunman, who had returned home.

“He ended the conversation quite soon and then we heard a shot,” Ylitornio police chief Seppo Kinnunen said, but gave no details of the conversation.

Officers found the man and the two daughters dead in the house.

Police said they investigating the case.

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