Sunday 21 April 2019

Another man arrested on suspicion of involvement in deadly Utrecht tram shooting

A forensic expert looks for clues in a house where the suspect of a shooting incident was arrested in Utrecht, Netherlands, Monday, March 18, 2019. A gunman killed three people and wounded nine others on a tram in the central Dutch city of Utrecht. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
A forensic expert looks for clues in a house where the suspect of a shooting incident was arrested in Utrecht, Netherlands, Monday, March 18, 2019. A gunman killed three people and wounded nine others on a tram in the central Dutch city of Utrecht. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
Crime scene: Police inspect the Utrecht tram on which three people were shot dead
(PA Graphics)
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Dutch police say they have arrested another man on suspicion of involvement in the deadly tram shooting in Utrecht.

Police said in a statement late on Tuesday that the 40-year-old man was arrested in the afternoon by heavily armed officers in Utrecht.

They say the man "is suspected of involvement in the shooting.

"His role is under further investigation."

Children place flowers at the site of a shooting in Utrecht, the Netherlands March 19, 2019. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw
Children place flowers at the site of a shooting in Utrecht, the Netherlands March 19, 2019. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw

Police say that two other men arrested following Monday's shooting that left three people dead and three seriously wounded have been released and are no longer considered suspects.

The main suspect, 37-year-old Gokmen Tanis, remains in custody over the attack which claimed three lives.

Earlier today, public prosecution office spokesman Ties Kortmann said the alleged gunman Tanis was being held on suspicion of manslaughter with a possible terrorist motive, but added that investigations were continuing into what drove him to allegedly open fire in a tram.

Authorities said they have not ruled out other possible motives and Dutch media said his neighbours in Utrecht have speculated that the shooting may have been linked to a relationship.

Suspect: A photo of the man arrested by police, Gokmen Tanis, taken from tram CCTV
Suspect: A photo of the man arrested by police, Gokmen Tanis, taken from tram CCTV

Justice minister Ferd Grapperhaus said Tanis "was known" to authorities and had a criminal record, but would not elaborate.

"If it had terror motives, that is being investigated. But it was very serious. The world shares our grief," prime minister Mark Rutte said.

The attack came three days after 50 people were killed when an immigrant-hating white supremacist opened fire at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, during Friday prayers.

Dutch authorities reduced the threat level in the city back to four out of five following the arrest of Tanis, which came after a manhunt involving heavily armed officers with dogs.

During the hunt, police released a photo of a bearded Tanis on a tram in a blue hooded top.

In the immediate aftermath of the attack, Dutch military police tightened security at airports and key buildings in the country, and Mr Rutte said: "If it is a terror attack, then we have only one answer: Our nation, democracy, must be stronger than fanaticism and violence."

The shooting took place at a busy intersection in a residential neighbourhood.

Local media said Tanis had been charged several times over recent years with offences ranging from attempted manslaughter to petty crime in and around Utrecht. Two weeks ago he was in court on charges of raping a woman in 2017, news reports said.

The Netherlands' anti-terror co-ordinator, Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg, raised the threat alert to its highest level, five, around Utrecht, a city of nearly 350,000, until Tanis was captured.

Press Association

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News