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Finnish School Shooter Had Nazi Beliefs

'Darwinist' School Shooter Flirted With Nazi Beliefs


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An 18-year-old Finn who shot and killed eight people in his southern Finland high school before killing himself had filled his YouTube page with images of Nazis and Nazi war crimes and even used a screen name with a Nazi ring to it.

Pekka Eric Auvinen, who used the screen name of "Sturmgeist89" (Storm Spirit 89), also published a manifesto on a Web page in which he demanded a war on the "weak-minded masses" who make up most of the human race. "I, as a natural selector, will eliminate all who I see unfit, disgraces of [the] human race and failures of natural selection," he wrote in words reminiscent of Nazi eugenicists.

Auvinen posted a video promising a massacre to his YouTube page on Nov. 6, a day before he went to the school and opened fire, killing two girls, five boys and the school's headmistress in the town of Tuusula, 30 miles south of Helsinki.

It was not clear how fully Auvinen subscribed to neo-Nazi beliefs — a teacher said the young man had been interested in both extreme-right and -left ideology. Police said he had been bullied for years at school, while Auvenin himself wrote that he was a "Social Darwinist" who despised "political correctness" and most of the human race and believed the intelligent should rule over "ignorant retards."

The shooting shocked a nation that has extremely low levels of violent crime despite having one of the highest levels of gun ownership in Europe.

Days after the shooting, Finnish police said Auvenin had apparently been in Internet contact with an American teenager who was planning a shooting spree in Philadelphia. The American youth, 14-year-old Dillon Cossey, was arrested on suspicion of planning an attack at his own school. Police found a variety of weapons in Cossey's home and arrested his mother for buying guns for her son.