Murder of couple in cinema sends shockwaves through student community in Netherlands

  • Suspect arrested after being spotted on CCTV
  • Manchester student who visited city of Groningen speak sot NQ about incident 

A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder after a couple employed as cleaners in the student city of Groningen in the Netherlands were found dead.

The 56-year-old man and 55-year-old woman from town of Slochteren worked in a Pathe cinema as cleaners and were found dead at around 9am.

The suspect has been named as 33-year old Ergun S from Rotterdam, who is described a street performer in the town.

During his arrest by the police on the morning after the incident, he was injured by a police shot.

Dutch police are conducting a major investigation into the incident and trying to establish motives for the murder.

The man has been remanded into custody for 90 days by the Northern Netherlands court.

Bruce Fair, a student from Manchester, who studied for a Master’s degree in Groningen, points out how safe he feels in Groningen although the incident took place there.

“Honestly, I feel much safer here than Manchester, which has a history of being a violent place. I don’t think the incident would have some kind of impact on my later decisions when going to cinema,” he said.

The family of young professional Jeroen Heikens, from Groningen, was acquainted with the victims. He said it made him “feel angry” that such incident could take place in his home town.

Jeroen added: “I don’t think crime is on rise here. Most of these major incidents are performed by people who should be in a mental hospital, not by criminals.”

The suspect is said to have been captured on the cinema cameras as he walked around the building at 7:30am, and was allegedly later seen walking out shortly after.

Two hours later the bodies of the victims were found.

Groningen is one of the most popular university cities in Europe, with around 30,000 students studying there, and the Pathe cinema is a popular place for students to hang out on Friday nights.