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Utrecht tram shooting leaves three dead

Man arrested for Dutch tram shooting
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What we covered here

  • The shooting: At least three people were killed in a Monday morning shooting on a tram in Utrecht.
  • The suspect: Dutch authorities say they have caught the man suspected of opening fire.
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Turkey: "We are in full solidarity with the Dutch people"

The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned the tram attack in Utrecht and expressed condolences for the victims.

Why this matters: The suspect in the shooting, 37-year-old Gokmen Tanis, was born in Turkey. He had previous run-ins with law enforcement and was arrested on Monday night, police said.

Here’s the full statement from the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

“We strongly condemn the attack that took place today (18 March 2019) in the city of Utrecht, in the Netherlands regardless of the identity of the perpetrator and the motivation behind it.
We extend our condolences and wish fortitude to the families of those who lost their lives, and speedy recovery to those wounded.
In the face of this attack we are in full solidarity with the Dutch people and Government.”

Terror threat in Utrecht downgraded after shooting suspect arrest

Policemen work on Monday in Utrecht, near a tram where a gunman opened fire.

Dutch authorities have downgraded the terror threat level for the province of Utrecht to level 4 following the arrest of the tram shooting suspect, the National coordinator for security and Counterterrorism said on twitter. 

Earlier today, officials raised the threat level to a 5 – the highest – for the entire province.

Dutch authorities said they were considering “a possible terrorist motive” for the shooting, which happened around 10:45 a.m. local time (or 5:45 a.m ET) Monday.

JUST IN: Dutch shooting suspect has been arrested

Dutch authorities say they have caught the man suspected of opening fire on a tram in Utrecht, killing three people this morning.

Rob van Bree, the head of operations of the Central Netherlands Police, announced the news Monday.

Utrecht mayor: The manhunt is ongoing and police are doing "everything possible to catch the suspect"

A manhunt is still ongoing in the Netherlands for the suspect in a tram shooting in Utrecht on Monday, the mayor said during a press conference.

Jan van Zaben said authorities are doing “everything possible to catch the suspect,” adding that the motive is “still unclear.”

Police say Gokmen Tanis, 37, who was born in Turkey, is wanted following the incident. They have asked locals to contact authorities immediately if they see him. 

The threat level will remain at 5 – the highest – for the entire province until 10 p.m. local time tonight.

What we know about the shooting now

A manhunt is underway after a deadly shooting in the Netherlands this morning. Here’s what we know now:

  • The shooting: A gunman opened fire inside a tram in the Dutch city of Utrecht around 10:45 a.m. local time today.
  • The victims: At least three people have died and five are wounded following the shooting, Utrecht Police tweeted.
  • The suspect: Police say Gokmen Tanis, 37, who was born in Turkey, is wanted following the incident; they have asked locals to contact authorities immediately if they see him.

Here’s a map of where the shooting happened, and where the search unfolded:

Netherlands' king and queen: "Acts of violence such as these are absolutely unacceptable"

Queen Maxima and King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands

The Netherlands’ King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima said they feel “intensely” for the victims of the tram shooting and condemned the violence as “absolutely unacceptable.”

Here’s the full statement:

We are deeply saddened that three people were killed and others were seriously wounded in the attack in Utrecht. We feel intensely for the victims and their family members. Acts of violence such as these are absolutely unacceptable. Let us stand together for a community in which people feel safe and in which the freedom and tolerance are of utmost importance.
Our thanks go out to all first responders who are currently assisting the victims.
Our thoughts are with the inhabitants of Utrecht.

What you need to know about Utrecht, where the shooting took place

Houses in the old centre of Utrecht are seen in January 2012.

Located in central Netherlands, the city of Utrecht is the fourth-largest in the country. It is the capital of a province of the same name.

It has a population of more than 347,000, according to 2018 data from the country’s central statistics bureau. Around a third of the city’s population is made up of immigrants, according to the Utrecht official website.

Utrecht is the headquarters of the Netherlands’ railroads and, as a result, trades on its location as a services and transport center.

It is also somewhat of a student metropolis as it is also home to Utrecht University, one of the oldest and largest of the Dutch state universities.

Dutch far-right opposition leader: "Dreadful news out of Utrecht"

File photograph of Dutch far-right Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders at The Hague on March 8, 2017. 

Dutch far-right opposition leader Geert Wilders expressed his admiration for the first responders in the wake of the shooting incident on board a tram in the city of Utrecht.

In a tweet, the politician wrote:

European neighbors react to mass shooting

Austria’s chancellor and the UK’s foreign secretary have joined others in expressing solidarity with the Netherlands following the mass shooting in Utrecht on Monday.

Here are the tweets from Sebastian Kurz and Jeremy Hunt:

Police ask people to stay inside, come forward with any information

Utrecht police say a red Renault Clio was carjacked just before the shooting in Utrecht this morning.

Police tweeted that the car was later found 4.3 km — or about 2.6 miles — away on another street.

Police also tweeted to ask people to stay indoors as the manhunt for the suspect continues. They are asking the public for any information they may have on the shooting.

Here’s the police department’s tweet about the car:

EU chief: We stand with the Netherlands

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Parliament President Antonio Tajani have expressed their support to the Netherlands in the wake of the mass shooting on board a tram in Utrecht Monday morning.

Here are their tweets:

At least 3 killed in shooting, Utrecht mayor says

The Utrecht mayor Jan Van Zanen said in a tweet on Monday afternoon that three people were killed and nine others injured in the Utrecht tram shooting.

Three of the nine individuals wounded are in serious condition, he said.

Dutch prime minister: This is "an attack on our tolerant and open society"

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said Monday that police are hunting for the suspect in the tram shooting.

“We are doing our utmost to try and find the perpetrator or perpetrators” in the Utrecht shooting,” he said.

He called the shooting “an attack [on] our society, an attack on our tolerant and open society.”

“If indeed this is an act of terror, then of course there is only one response possible. And that response is as follows: That our state our democracy, we are stronger than fanatics and violence. We will not stop fighting intolerance ever,” he added.

The Netherlands have largely escaped terror incidents in recent years. But Dutch police previously foiled what they described as a major terrorist attack last September when they arrested seven individuals in Rotterdam.

Dutch police correct spelling of suspect's name

Netherland officials have amended the name of the 37-year-old Turkish man they are searching for.

The 37-year-old Turkish-born man is named Gokmen Tanis.

Here’s their updated tweet:

Emergency medical center opens to help injured

University Medical Center Utrecht has opened an emergency medical center to respond to the Dutch tram shooting.

NOW: Dutch ministers hold news conference

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Minister of Justice and Security Ferdinand Grapperhaus are holding a press conference about Monday’s tram shooting in Utrecht.

Rotterdam police increase security around mosques and stations

Rotterdam police have bolstered security around mosques and stations in the city, following the shooting on a tram Monday morning in the city of Utrecht, the city’s police said on Twitter.

Rotterdam is approximately 60 km (or about 37 miles) from Utrecht. 

Police identify Utrecht shooting suspect

Dutch police investigating the Utrecht incident have identified a man in connection with the shooting.

In a tweet, officials say they are looking for a 37-year-old Turkish-born man named Gokman Tanis. The tweet — which is accompanied by an image from what appears to be a CCTV camera onboard the tram — adds, “do not approach.”

The photo published by police is time stamped at 10:41 — about four minutes before the incident on the tram took place.

Police searching for one suspect in Utrecht

Dutch police are searching for a single suspect in the aftermath of the shooting on a tram in Utrecht Monday, the National Coordinator for Security and Counter terrorism PJ Aalbersberg said at a news conference on Monday afternoon.. 

Multiple Dutch media outlets are reporting and showing images of what appears to be police gathered around a building in Trumanaan street, around 500 meters from the scene of the shooting.

He was in the building next door when the shooting started: "People came into the building, hiding"

Vincent van Roon witnessed the shooting from his office.

Van Roon recalled seeing a heavy police response and medical personnel working on one of the wounded in the street “for a long time.”

The area around the tram under lockdown

Photos from the scene posted on social media show the tram stopped in its tracks with police tape locking down the area and multiple emergency vehicles nearby.

CNN’s Richard Quest said the area is now under a heavy police presence and described the atmosphere as “strange.”

One section of the tram is shielded by a tarpaulin, which is believed to be covering a body.

Multiple people wounded in Dutch tram shooting

The scene in Utrecht was quickly locked down by police and emergency responders.

Dutch authorities have launched a manhunt after a gunman opened fire inside a tram in the city of Utrecht on Monday morning.

What happened:

  • One person is feared dead and several were wounded in the shooting incident, officials said at an afternoon press conference.
  • Authorities are exploring “a possible terrorist motive” for the shooting, which took place in 24 October Square at 10:45 a.m. (5:45 a.m ET).
  • The country’s threat level has been raised to 5 — meaning critical.

GO DEEPER

Utrecht tram shooting: Suspect arrested after at least three killed
Utrecht tram shooting leaves three dead

GO DEEPER

Utrecht tram shooting: Suspect arrested after at least three killed
Utrecht tram shooting leaves three dead