Wednesday 24 April 2019

Suspect arrested after three killed in Dutch tram shooting

  • Mayor confirms three dead

  • Authorities raise terrorism threat to highest level

  • Security beefed up at airports, schools, mosques

This image made available on Monday March 18, 2019 from the Twitter page of Police Utrecht shows an image of 37 year old Gokman Tanis who police are looking for in connection with a shooting incident on a tram. Police, including heavily armed officers, flooded the area after the shooting Monday morning on a tram at a busy traffic intersection in a residential neighborhood. (Police Utrecht via AP)
This image made available on Monday March 18, 2019 from the Twitter page of Police Utrecht shows an image of 37 year old Gokman Tanis who police are looking for in connection with a shooting incident on a tram. Police, including heavily armed officers, flooded the area after the shooting Monday morning on a tram at a busy traffic intersection in a residential neighborhood. (Police Utrecht via AP)
Police secure the site of a shooting in Utrecht, Netherlands, March 18, 2019. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw
Police secure the site of a shooting in Utrecht, Netherlands, March 18, 2019. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw
Police officer with a service dog is seen after a shooting in Utrecht, Netherlands, March 18, 2019. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw
Emergency services attend the scene of a shooting in Utrecht, Netherlands, Monday March 18, 2019. Police in the central Dutch city of Utrecht say on Twitter that "multiple" people have been injured as a result of a shooting in a tram in a residential neighborhood. (Martijn van der Zande via AP)
(stock photo)
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

The suspect in the deadly tram shooting in Utrecht which left three people dead has been detained, Dutch police have said.

At the end of a news conference on Monday evening, police chief Rob van Bree told reporters: "I just heard that the suspect we were hunting has been arrested."

Five people were also injured in the incident and authorities immediately raised the terror alert for the area to the highest level.

A few hours after the shooting, Utrecht police released a photo of a 37-year-old Turkish-born man they identified as Gokmen Tanis and said he was "associated with the incident".

The site of a shooting is pictured in Utrecht, Netherlands, March 18, 2019. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw
The site of a shooting is pictured in Utrecht, Netherlands, March 18, 2019. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw

Utrecht Mayor Jan van Zanen said three people were killed and police put the number of wounded at five.

"We cannot exclude, even stronger, we assume a terror motive. Likely there is one attacker, but there could be more," Mr van Zanen said.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said that "a terror motive is not excluded" and that the attack was met throughout the country with "a mix of disbelief and disgust".

"If it is a terror attack, then we have only one answer: Our nation, democracy, must be stronger that fanaticism and violence," he added.

Police secure the site of a shooting in Utrecht, Netherlands, March 18, 2019. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw
Police secure the site of a shooting in Utrecht, Netherlands, March 18, 2019. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw

The shooting took place at a busy junction in a residential area. Police erected a white tent over an area where a body appeared to be lying next to the tram.

Anti-terror officers gathered in front of a block of flats close to the scene. A dog wearing a vest with a camera mounted on it was also seen outside the building.

Police spokesman Bernhard Jens said one person might have fled by car and he did not rule out the possibility that more than one assailant was involved.

Authorities later reduced the threat level in Utrecht back to four out of five following the arrest, back in line with the rest of the Netherlands.

Political parties halted campaigning ahead of provincial elections scheduled for Wednesday that will also determine the make-up of Parliament's upper house.

Reuters

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