Dutch police have apprehended a 32-year-old male gunman responsible for a series of shootings in Rotterdam, resulting in the deaths of at least three individuals. The attacker opened fire in a residence before setting it ablaze, then stormed the Erasmus Medical Center on Thursday. The assailant was identified as a student at Erasmus University, which is affiliated with the hospital. The initial shooting claimed the lives of a 39-year-old woman and her 14-year-old daughter, while a 43-year-old male lecturer was fatally shot at the medical center.
Footage has emerged showing the arrest of a man wearing camouflaged clothing, who was escorted from the hospital building in handcuffs. The motives behind the attack remain unknown. A security guard present at the scene described the day as “shocking” and expressed his distress, choosing to remain anonymous. He also revealed that the gunman did not enter the medical center through the main entrance.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte expressed his condolences in a social media post, extending his thoughts to the victims, their loved ones, and all those affected by the violence. During a news briefing following the shooting, Rotterdam police officers confirmed that they were familiar with the gunman, who had previously been convicted of animal cruelty two years ago. Authorities stated that there were no indications of a second gunman involved.
Witnesses reported chaotic scenes at the medical center, with employees seen evacuating the building alongside patients, some of whom were on stretchers. Distressed messages were observed taped to two hospital windows, reading: “Room 32. We can’t get out!” Barak, a 27-year-old student from Israel, recounted his experience of being in a job interview when the shooting began. He described the aftermath as alarming, with the presence of numerous sirens and messages. Another student shared that the shooting initially occurred on the fourth floor, with several shots fired, followed by throwing a Molotov cocktail into the education center.
Elite police units, including snipers, swiftly responded to the incident, storming the hospital. Helicopters were observed hovering over the building. Prior to his arrest, the police described the suspect as a tall, dark-haired individual wearing combat gear, potentially traveling on a motorcycle, and carrying a backpack, headphones, and a handgun.
The investigation into the Rotterdam shootings is ongoing as authorities work to establish the full circumstances surrounding the incident.