Utrecht: People hurt in Dutch tram shooting incident
Multiple people have been injured in a shooting in the Dutch town of Utrecht, police say.
The incident unfolded on or near a tram, according to Joost Lanshage, spokesman for the police in central Holland. Local police confirmed on Twitter that the incident took place at the 24th of October Square, which has been closed off.
The shooting, which was reported at 10:45 a.m. (5:45 a.m ET), is now over -- however the police operation is ongoing, Lanshage added. Emergency responders are attending the scene.
Heavily armed Dutch special police forces of the Dienst Speciale Interventies (DSI) (Service Special Interventions) at the scene of the attack.
This comes close, because I travel by train, tram, bus, car, bike and van in the Netherlands.
France, the UK, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Norway, we are part of Western-Europe so we have to live with the chance of Islamist Jihadist, Extreme right, far left, Animal rights (extremists - the murderer of Pim Fortuyn Volker van der Graaf was an Animal rights extremist-), sectarian, ethnic extremism, violence/agression and terrorism. And also with mental instabile psychopaths like the murderer of the Dutch politician Elst Borst ( en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Els_Borst ).
We should not give in with fear, but be alert and live with the risks of living in a modern, West-European, Multi-cultural (Multi-ethnic), cosmopolitan and international country which is largely based on trade (import & export), oil refinery (Shell), Gas, financial services and markets (the Amsterdam stock exchange, Schipol Airport, the Dutch Banks, insurrance companies and professional service companies (accountancy, marketing-communication, public relations, advertisement businesses), food industries, the ICT sector and chemical industries and Multi-nationals.
The fact that the Netherlands were involved in Peace keeping missions in Bosnia-Herzegovina (the Srebrenica Massacre), Kosovo, Unifil (Lebanon), the Golan Heights (the borders between Syria and Israel), Iraq, Afghanistan, Mali makes us vulnerable. As a Western, European, christian, secular and democratic nation we were and are on "'Islamic' soil" (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Syria and Libiya -with our F-16 war planes who dropped bombs- and with our UN-troops in Afghanistan and Iraq-) in the eyes of the Islamist (minority fringe of extremists) within the Islamic world. So we are a target for them, but also for extreme right, nativist, white suprematist nationalist, nativist, replacement theory believing extremists who want to spread fear amongst migrants, liberals, central democrats, moderate conservatives and everybody they held responsible for the tolerant, Multi-cultural policies. In their opinion our Western-European elites, financial-economical powers and political parties import refugees and migrants.
It is a tense situation in Western-Europe today, but stil the majority of native Euroepans and migrants in West-Europe are peaceful, hard working, taks paying, normal and good people. This extremist minority is annoying and terrible, but we can't stop them or monitor all of them. Also in these treats and challanges I am very close to Karls Danish and German relatives and people. We are in the same carriage in this.
Utrecht shootings: Hunt for gunman after attack on tram
One person is feared to have died and several were injured in the tram shooting
A gunman has opened fire inside a tram and at several other locations in the Dutch city of Utrecht, authorities say.
Several people have been injured and one is feared to have died, media reports say.
Police say the gunman is still at large. Trains and trams have stopped running and schools have been asked to keep their doors closed.
Counter-terrorism police reportedly say the shooting "appears to be a terrorist attack".
Dutch anti-terrorism co-ordinator Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg said all efforts were now focused on catching the gunman. He also said there could be more than one perpetrator.
The threat level has been temporarily raised to its highest point in the province of Utrecht.
Utrecht University has reportedly closed all buildings, with nobody allowed in or out. Trains are also not allowed to run into Utrecht Central station, and mosques across the city have reportedly been closed due to security concerns.
Heavily armed police reportedly gathered outside a house on a street near the 24 Oktoberplein junction, where the tram attack took place.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte said he was "deeply concerned" and cancelled his weekly coalition talks.
Police have increased security at airports throughout the Netherlands.
Security services have reportedly told Utrecht's University Medical Centre to open the dedicated emergency ward to help care for the injured.
The tram shooting happened at about 10:45 local time (09:45 GMT).
"A man started shooting wildly," one eyewitness told Dutch news site NU.nl.
Another witness told Dutch public broadcaster NOS that he saw an injured woman with blood on her hands and clothes.
"I brought her into my car and helped her," he said. "When the police arrived, she was unconscious."
It is unknown how many were injured or how seriously they were hurt.
Utrecht's transport authority said all trams have now been cancelled, due to the increased threat level.
This news came across to us as a deplorable act of needless act of violence. It is to your self and to those Dutch people to offer our wishes this shooter individual will be caught as a measure to insure no further violence upon his part and for justice to prevail by the rule of law.
For what ever reason of his actions, will not and does not constitute any measure of justification.
Thank you for you nice reply. Utrecht comes close to me, because I have some friends there, it is a city where I often follow evening and weekend courses, workshops, seminars, meetings and meet friends from various part of the country because it is the most central city in the middle of the Netherlands. I know Utrecht very well and am sad that that nice city is hit and I hope that non of the people I know are hurt. Could'nt reach some people. Utrecht is about a half hour drive from Arnhem.
Main suspect in Utrecht shooting arrested, questions remain about motive
Police photo of Gökmen Tanis, suspect in the shooting in Utrecht on March 17 2019.
The suspect wanted for shooting dead three people in Utrecht on Monday morning has been arrested, police said at a news conference on Monday evening.
Three people were killed and five injured, three seriously, in the attack which took place on and outside a tram on Monday morning in the Kanaleneiland area of the city.
The circumstances of the arrest are still unclear, and officials at the news conference were taken by surprise by the development, which came as the meeting was ending.
However, justice minister Ferd Grapperhaus confirmed shortly afterwards that the man was ‘known to the police’ but would say nothing further about the circumstances of the arrest or the motive.
‘This was an attack on people on a tram, and that is unprecedented in the Netherlands,’ he said.
Police had earlier named their prime suspect as 37-year-old Gökmen Tanis, who has a history of petty crime and recently appeared in court on rape charges.
Prime minister Mark Rutte said that given the scale of the deaths and the impact on the Netherlands and beyond, the shooting could be described as an ‘attack’. But the motive for the shooting is still being investigated, he said.
A terrorist motive has not been ruled out and police are also looking into the possibility that the shooter knew his victim.
Several eyewitnesses report that the gunman appeared to target a woman and then turned his gun on several people who were trying to drag her to safety.
One man, Jimmy de Koster, told RTV Utrecht that he saw a young woman lying on the floor. ‘I heard three shots and four people ran towards her and tried to drag her away. Then I heard more shots and the people let her go. It was chaotic.’
Another, Danny Molenaar, who was sitting at the front of the tram told broadcaster NOS that the tram stopped suddenly on a bend.
He said he looked outside and saw a woman lying on the ground. At first, he said, he thought it was an accident and that the woman had been hit by a tram. Then, he says, he saw a man with a gun approaching the group that had formed around the woman and heard shots.
Utrecht residents were ordered to stay inside for several hours while heavily armed police hunted the gunman, leading to deserted streets. Several homes were searched and police also found the red car believed to have been used as a getaway vehicle.
Another man was arrested earlier but the extent of his involvement has not yet been determined, police chief Rob van Bree told the news conference. Utrecht mayor Jan van Zaanen said the lock down had been ordered because of earlier reports that shootings had taken place at various locations in the city.
The Dutch police unleashed a massive manhunt for the Utrecht tram shooter
This was a huge operation in the Dutch context. All people were asked to stay at home. The highest security alert was put in action Fase 5. The prime minister was negotiating with the national terrorism expert. Train traffick in an around Utrecht was stopped. Trams and busses weren't driving. In Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Schiphol airport special police forces and the normal police were patroling and thus on high alert. The train stations of Rotterdam and Amsterdam were guarded by police forces and the military police was patrolling the parliament area in the Hague and Schiphol Airport.
This video is of bank employee's of the Utrecht branch of the Rabobank. First they see police officers approaching their bank and after that special police forces arrive. The police believed that the terror suspect had entered the bank building.
What I have learned the last year is that armed violence with a criminal and terrorist nature can also happen in the Netherlands. Last decades armed attack only took place in foreign countries (Germany RAF-Baader Meinhof Gruppe, National Socialist Underground -NSU- , the christmas market attack in Berlin; Frace, Belgium, Spain, the UK [London, Manchaster], Denmark and Norway [Anders Behring Breivik]). We had three political assasinations (Pim Fortuyn, Theo van Gogh and Els Borst) but no major terrorist attack with several victims. Today we have one. The suspect was a drugs user, rapist, thieve and lunatic, but he shouted Allah Akbar, and he did not only kill the woman he wanted to kill (an ex girlfriend) but also killed other people and wounded other people. Why did he shouted Allah Akbar when he was shooting in Utrecht?
Flags half mast as the investigation into Utrecht tram shooting continues
Heavily armed police during the hunt for the killer. Photo: Arie Kievit
Three people are in custody in the investigation into Monday’s tram shooting in Utrecht which left three people dead and five people injured, three seriously. A third person was arrested overnight and despite reports that all but the main suspect have been released, police said all three remain in custody and are being treated as suspects. Flags on government buildings are hanging at half mast on Tuesday, as a sign of respect to the victims and people have begun placing flowers at the location of the shooting on 24 Oktoberplein.
Half-mast flags in Utrecht today
Although the victims have not yet been formally identified, one of the dead is said to be a 19-year-old woman, Roos Verschuur, who worked in a branch of Delifrance. Another was named as Rinke Terpstra, a father of two who trained youth teams at a local football club. More information has also emerged about the shooter, Gökmen Tanis, who is described by the AD as ‘an unstable, cocaine ridden, drugs dealer’ and was arrested early on Monday evening. He was in court two weeks ago on rape charges and his victim told the AD Tadis is ‘a psychopath, not a terrorist’. His father, who divorced Tanis’ mother in 2008 and returned to Turkey, told Turkish newspapers he had not had contact with his son for 11 years. ‘Let him serve his sentence for the atrocity,’ Mehmet Tanis said.
One of the dead is said to be the 19-year-old woman, Roos Verschuur, who worked in a branch of Delifrance, a bakery company that produces "French style" bakery, savoury and snacking products.
Another deadly victim was Rinke Terpstra, a father of two who trained youth teams at a local football club.
The big Dutch newspapers all have the shooting on their front pages and none call it a terrorist incident, although the Telegraaf speaks of the ‘terrorist alarm’ in Utrecht, when the threat level was temporarily raised from four to five. Some newspapers say that Tanis’ brother is known to the security services AIVD (General Intelligence and Security Service), MIVD (the Military Intelligence and Security Service), the Team Criminal Intelligence (TCI) of the National Police and the Royal Marechaussee (Military Police) criminal intelligence Units and may have links to terror groups. This could explain why the shooting is being seen as a potential terrorist attack, broadcaster NOS said. The authorities hope to have more clarity about the motive for the shooting later on Tuesday. Prime minister Mark Rutte is meeting the justice and home affairs ministers at 9am.
All over the Netherlands at government buildings the flags are Half-mast today