Utrecht shootings: manhunt underway for gunman after shooting on tram
- Shooting happened at about 10.45am local time (09:45 GMT)
- Three people have now been confirmed dead by Dutch police and five others injured.
- Threat level has been temporarily raised to its highest point.
- Dutch anti-terrorism co-ordinator Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg says all efforts now focused on catching gunman.
A student at Utrecht University has spoken to the Northern Quota about a shooting in the city which killed three and injured five others.
A gunman opened fire inside a tram in the city of Utrecht, Netherlands this morning as commuters made their way into the city.
According to Dutch police the gunman is still at large, and Utrecht’s transport authority said all trams have now been cancelled and trains are not allowed to run into Utrecht Central station as a precaution.
Schools have also been asked to keep their doors closed.
Luuk Von Burg a media student at Utrecht University spoke to Northern Quota about the incident: “I’m totally shocked. It happened in the tram I took for eight years twice-a-day. I still use it multiple times a week, I can’t believe something like this happens so close to me.”
The threat level has been temporarily raised to its highest point in the province of Utrecht as counter-terror police are reported to say that 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.
Police have released an image of a 37-year-old Turkish man named as Gokmen Tanis as a suspect and are appealing to the public for information.
To care for the injured Utrecht’s University Medical Centre has opened its dedicated emergency ward by order of security services.
The university – which has close ties to Man Met’s journalism section – has closed all buildings, with nobody allowed in or out.
Following last week’s terror attack in New Zealand mosques across the city have also been closed due to security concerns.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said he was “deeply concerned” by the shootings.
The tram shooting happened at about 10.45am local time. In response, heavily armed police gathered on a street near to the 24 Oktoberplein junction, where the tram attack took place.
Police have asked the public for any photos or video of the attack.
Zoe Carney a Bitish expat, currently living in Schiedam about an hour away from Utrecht spoke, told NQ: “I’m seeing the same wild claims and speculations in Dutch as in English – the usual nonsense about deporting ‘them’/closing the borders; as you get from Ukip supporters in the UK, and more calm voices appealing for people to let the police do their jobs, and not to jump to conclusions.”
Eywitness reports gathered by the BBC describe the aftermath:
“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.”
Utrecht’s transport authority said all trams have now been cancelled, due to the increased threat level.
Update: Police have now arrested the suspect