Utrecht shooting: suspect arrested by Dutch police
Three people were killed and five others injured in yesterday’s tram attack in The Netherlands
A man has been arrested in connection with a fatal shooting in the Dutch city of Utrecht, police confirmed yesterday evening.
He has been identified as Gokmen Tanis, a 37-year-old Turkish national already known to authorities.
Three people were killed and five others wounded when a gunman opened fire on a tram at 10:45 local time, in what authorities initially described as a possible terrorist attack.
Residents were told to remain indoors and schools were closed as heavily armed police hunted the attacker. Several homes were raided and a car thought to have been stolen by the gunman was searched.
“Today is a black day for our city, for Utrecht,” said Mayor Jan van Zanen. “Unsuspecting and innocent people in the tram on their way to work or school were attacked.”
He said the motive for the attack remained unclear, adding: “We take a terrorist motive into account, but we cannot exclude other motives.”
The incident comes just days after a lone gunman killed 50 people in mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.
But police spokesman, Bernhard Jens, suggested that the attack may have been a domestic dispute.
Several eyewitnesses said the gunman appeared to target one woman and then turned his gun on several people who were trying to drag her to safety, Dutch News reports.
“I heard three shots and four people ran towards her and tried to drag her away,” one man told RTV Utrecht. “Then I heard more shots and the people let her go. It was chaotic.”
Another witness gave the Algemeen Dagblad newspaper a similar account.
“I had the impression he was firing at one person in particular, because I saw a woman crawl out,” he said. “Other people tried to help her, and when they did that he went round behind her and began firing at them.”