At least eight people were shot dead at a Finnish school today by a teenage gunman who posted a video of his planned massacre on the internet hours before.
The 18-year-old then shot himself in the head, but survived and was taken to hospital where he was critically ill tonight.
The killer, who called himself Pekka-Eric Auvinen on a website, included the school's headmistress among his victims. She had first managed to put out a warning to pupils and staff over the public address system.
Most of the 400 pupils aged between 12 and 18 managed to flee to safety from Jokela high school in Tuusula, 30 miles north of Helsinki.
Earlier today Auvinen apparently posted a video called "Jokela high school massacre" on the YouTube website, the latest of dozens he listed over the last fortnight. It shows a boy standing with a gun pointed towards the camera.
The pose has chilling echoes of Virgina Tech gun maniac Seung-Hui Cho who posted pictures of himself brandishing handguns to a TV station on the morning that he killed 32 people on the US campus last April.
Auvinen, going by another name of Sturmgeist89, calls himself a "social darwinist" who would "eliminate all who I see unfit".
The videos, which include tributes to mass killers, footage of the Holocaust and clips from violent films, have now been removed from the website.
They also include a "tribute" to Auvinen's gun a 10-shot .22 automatic pistol which he is seen shooting in snow-covered woods before turning to the camera and waving.
Police chief Matti Tohkanen said tonight: "He was from an ordinary family." He got a licence for the gun on October 19 and did not have a previous criminal record.
The shootings are the first such incidents in Finnish history, previous school confrontations have involved knives at worst and no one has died.
Finland has one of the highest proportions of gun owners in the world with two million weapons among a population of five million. Only the US and Yemen are higher.
Teacher Kim Kiuru said the first he knew of the incident was when the head announced over the public address system just before noon (1000GMT) that all students should remain in their classrooms.
"I stayed in the corridor to listen to more instructions, having locked my classroom door. After that I saw the gunman running with what appeared to be a small-calibre handgun in his hand through the doors toward me, after which I escaped to the corridor downstairs and ran in the opposite direction."
He said he saw a woman's body as he fled the building.
"Then my pupils shouted at me out of the windows to ask what they should do and I told them to jump out of the windows ... and all my pupils were saved."