Sello mall shooting
|Sello mall shooting|
Emergency vehicles outside Sello after the shooting
|Location||Leppävaara, Espoo, Finland|
|Date||31 December 2009 |
c. 10:08–11:13 (UTC+2)
|Spree shooting, murder–suicide, mass shooting|
|Deaths||6 (including the perpetrator)|
The Sello mall shooting occurred on the morning of 31 December 2009 shortly after 10:08 local time at the Prisma hypermarket in Sello mall, located in the Leppävaara district of Espoo, Finland. The shooting was believed to have been started after Ibrahim Shkupolli, the alleged gunman, found that his ex-girlfriend had a lover at the grocery store where she worked. Shkupolli first killed her in her apartment before heading towards the mall.
The Sello mall, which opened in 2003, is the largest in the Nordic region with over 170 stores. On the day of the shooting the mall contained between two and three thousand customers. Witnesses described the gunman as calm when walking out of the grocery store in the mall immediately after the shooting.
The shooting began when the gunman entered the Prisma hypermarket and began firing with a 9×19mm handgun. Preliminary reports indicated four fatalities at the mall, three men and one woman. The victims, aged 27, 40, 42 and 45, were employees of Prisma. Another woman, identified as the suspect's ex-girlfriend, was found dead in an Espoo apartment in connection with the case. The ex-girlfriend was also an employee of Prisma, and the Finnish police speculated that she was the main target. It is alleged that Shkupolli killed his former girlfriend first in the apartment, and after moved on to kill her boyfriend at the shopping mall where they both worked. It is believed that her lover is one of the four victims, and that he had been shot twice in the head. The suspect, identified as 43-year-old Kosovar Albanian Ibrahim Shkupolli, was seen walking into another shop where he disappeared, sparking a major manhunt which involved police helicopters.
Later that day, Shkupolli was found dead in an apartment in Kirstinmäki, Espoo, in an apparent suicide. His apartment was completely empty except for a mattress, a framed photo of his ex-girlfriend, 14 fully loaded magazines for his gun, and a bag containing additional 273 cartridges. According to a neighbour who heard the gunshot, Shkupolli had shot himself at 11:13. The Finnish police evacuated and cordoned off the shopping centre, and blocked off a nearby railway station. Emergency services arrived on the scene including dozens of ambulances and several fire engines.
The firearm used was a Czechoslovak-made 9mm CZ 75 pistol, manufactured in 1984 and was originally sold in Norway where the gun went missing due to an unsolved burglary case in 1990. The questions of how and when Shkupolli acquired it remain unknown. The first victim, the woman found in the apartment, was killed with a Smith & Wesson-branded hunting knife. The body had a long and deep incised wound reaching the cervical spine. The apartment had no signs of struggle.
Ibrahim Shkupolli (1966 – 31 December 2009) was born in Kosovska Mitrovica, Yugoslavia, worked as a grocer, and had resided illegally in Finland since 1990. He entered Finland through Norway in 1990. Shkupolli worked in a warehousing company that delivered to the Prisma supermarket chain.
Shkupolli had been married to a Kosovar Albanian woman with whom he had three children but maintained an on-off relationship with his Finnish girlfriend both before and after the marriage. In both of his former and present municipalities of residence, Mikkeli and Espoo, restraining orders had been imposed on him after his girlfriend filed charges about his behavior and numerous threats, including one to kill her. The order imposed by the court barred him from approaching both her and her job location. It is thought that he believed she had begun a relationship with one of the supermarket staff, and that this was the motive for his crimes. He had been convicted of assault in 2001 and possession of a 7.65 mm hand gun and associated rounds of ammunition in 2003 and 9 x 18 mm cartridges in 2007 as well as possession of narcotics. He was also under investigation for being involved in a human trafficking ring that organises illegal immigration from the Balkans to Finland.
These and other offenses including unlawful threats and traffic violations had led the Finnish Immigration Service to reject his application for Finnish citizenship. His motives may have been a mixture of a grudge with his former employer Prisma, and the fact that he believed that his girlfriend had started a new relationship with a Prisma employee after breaking up with Shkupolli.
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