In Rare Dutch Shootings, Three Are Dead in Two Locations

Police say lone gunman opened fire in hospital and nearby apartment; suspect is in custody
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 28, 2023 12:23 PM CDT
Updated Sep 28, 2023 2:17 PM CDT
Multiple Fatalities in Shootings at Dutch Hospital, Apartment
Emergency services attend to the scene at Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, Thursday, Sept. 28, 2023.   (AP Photo)

Updated throughout with new details. A lone gunman wearing a bulletproof vest opened fire in an apartment and a hospital in the Dutch port city of Rotterdam on Thursday, killing three people, including a 14-year-old girl, police said. The shooting sent patients and medics fleeing the Erasmus Medical Center in downtown Rotterdam, including some who were wheeled out of the building in beds, per the AP. Others barricaded themselves into rooms and stuck hand-written signs to windows to show their location. Police Chief Fred Westerbeke told reporters that the shooter was a 32-year-old student from Rotterdam. He was arrested at the hospital carrying a firearm. His identity was not released, and the motive for the shootings was still under investigation.

He first shot and killed a 39-year-old woman and seriously injured her 14-year-old daughter at an apartment close to where the suspect lived, said Police Chief Fred Westerbeke. The girl later died of her injuries. The shooter then went to the nearby Erasmus Medical Center where he shot and killed a 46-year-old man, a teacher at the academic hospital, the police chief said. He also started fires at the scenes of both shootings. The identities of the victims were not released.

The suspect was cooperating with police, Westerbeke said. "It was a black day," said Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb. Dutch King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima expressed their sympathy on social media. "Our hearts go out to the family and friends of the victims of the violence this afternoon in Rotterdam," the royal pair wrote. "We also think of everybody who lived in fear during these terrible actions." Gun violence is rare (though not unheard of) in the country, notes the New York Times. While there have been scores of small explosions and at homes and businesses across Rotterdam this year, blamed on rival drug gangs, there was no immediate suggestion that Thursday's shooting was linked to the gangs. (More Rotterdam stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.