HomeWorld3 people dead in twin Rotterdam shootings: Dutch police

3 people dead in twin Rotterdam shootings: Dutch police


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Three folks, together with a 14-year-old lady, died on Thursday after a gunman sporting a bulletproof vest opened hearth and set a hospital and an condominium ablaze within the Dutch metropolis of Rotterdam, police mentioned.

The taking pictures despatched sufferers and medics fleeing the Erasmus Medical Center in downtown Rotterdam, together with some who had been wheeled out of the constructing in beds. Others barricaded themselves into rooms and caught hand-written indicators to home windows to indicate their location.

Police Chief Fred Westerbeke instructed reporters that the shooter was a 32-year-old pupil from Rotterdam. He was arrested on the hospital carrying a firearm. His identification was not launched, and the motive for the shootings was nonetheless underneath investigation.

Netherlands police officer directs bystanders from an entrance to the Erasmus University Medical Center (Erasmus MC), which was cordoned off after two reported shooting incidents, in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Sept. 28, 2023. (AFP Photo)

He first shot and killed a 39-year-old girl and significantly injured her 14-year-old daughter at an condominium near the place the suspect lived, Westerbeke mentioned. Police mentioned the lady later died of her accidents.

The shooter then went to the close by Erasmus Medical Center, the place he shot and killed a 46-year-old man, a instructor on the tutorial hospital, the police chief added. He additionally began fires on the scenes of each shootings.

The identities of the victims weren’t launched.

The suspect was cooperating with police, Westerbeke mentioned.

“We cannot say anything about the motive of this terrible act at this time. The probe is still ongoing,” chief public prosecutor Hugo Hillenaar instructed reporters.

The suspect was arrested underneath the hospital’s helipad, and police mentioned they didn’t imagine another shooters had been concerned.

The suspect, a pupil on the hospital, was already recognized to the authorities over a conviction for animal cruelty, police mentioned.

“The suspect was known to law enforcement and in 2021 he was prosecuted and convicted for animal abuse,” Hillenaar mentioned.

An investigation is underway as as to whether he was a pupil of the instructor shot useless. Authorities imagine that the girl and her daughter had been shut neighbors of the suspect, main Westerbeke to recommend they had been “targeted attacks.”

“I am angry and sad,” mentioned Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb. “It was a black day.”

“We have been shocked by a horrible incident. Shots were fired in two different places in the city. Many people witnessed it,” the mayor instructed reporters.

“Emotions in the city are very high. My condolences go out to the victims.”

‘Panic and screaming’

Witnesses described the chaotic scenes across the hospital, as helicopters buzzed overhead and police snipers took up positions on the hospital roof.

“First, there was a shooting on the fourth floor. Four or five shots were fired. Then a Molotov cocktail was thrown into the education center,” mentioned a medical pupil quoted by RTL Nieuws, who didn’t give his title.

“There was a lot of panic and screaming… I didn’t hear any shots, just the panic, and that’s what I started to act on,” public broadcaster NOS cited one other eyewitness as saying.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte spoke of his “great dismay” on the shootings.

“My thoughts go out to the victims of the violence, their loved ones, and all those who have been hugely scared,” he added in a press release on X, previously Twitter.

Netherlands' police officers move toward the Erasmus University Medical Center (Erasmus MC), which was cordoned off after two reported shooting incidents, in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Sept. 28, 2023. (AFP Photo)

Medical staff wait outside the Erasmus University Medical Center (Erasmus MC), which has been cordoned off after two shooting incidents, in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Sept. 28, 2023. (EPA Photo)

Dutch King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima expressed their sympathy on social media.

“Our hearts go out to the family and friends of the victims of the violence this afternoon in Rotterdam,” the royal pair wrote. “We also think of everybody who lived in fear during these terrible actions,” they added.

“It’s unbelievable,” mentioned Rotterdam GP Matthijs van der Poel, cited on the Algemeen Dagblad web site.

“Everyone is totally shocked by the events and is watching the news with horror. I’m afraid such things cannot be prevented,” he mentioned.

The Erasmus Medical Center appealed on social media for folks to not go to the hospital, however later mentioned it was reopening. It mentioned that each one appointments scheduled for Friday would go forward as deliberate.

There have been scores of small explosions at properties and companies throughout Rotterdam this 12 months, blamed on rival drug gangs. There was no fast suggestion that Thursday’s taking pictures was linked to the feuding drug gangs.

In 2019, three folks had been shot useless on a tram in Utrecht, sparking a large manhunt.

In 2011, the nation was left shocked when 24-year-old Tristan van der Vlis killed six folks and wounded ten others in a rampage at a packed shopping center.

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