Rotterdam: Student gunman kills three, including girl (14)

Suspect (32) arrested after shootings in an apartment and hospital

A lone gunman in a bulletproof vest opened fire in an apartment and a hospital in the Netherlands on Thursday, killing three people including a 14-year-old girl, police have said.

The shooting sent patients and medics fleeing the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam, including some who were wheeled out of the building in beds.

Others barricaded themselves into rooms and stuck hand-written signs to windows to show their location.

Police chief Fred Westerbeke told reporters the gunman is a 32-year-old student from Rotterdam.


He was arrested at the hospital while allegedly carrying a firearm.

His identity has not been released and his alleged motive is 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, Mr Westerbeke said.

Police said the girl later died of her injuries.

The gunman then went to the nearby Erasmus Medical Centre where he shot and killed a 43-year-old man, a teacher at the academic hospital, the police chief added. He also started fires at the scenes of both shootings.

The identities of the victims were not released.

The suspect was co- operating with police, Mr Westerbeke said.

“We have been shocked by a horrible incident. Shots were fired in two different places in the city. Many people witnessed it,” Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb said. “Emotions in the city are very high. My condolences go out to the victims.”

Rotterdam’s chief prosecutor Hugo Hillenaar said: “The suspect was known to law enforcement and in 2021 he was prosecuted and convicted for animal abuse.”

Videos posted online showed police instructing students, some wearing white medical gowns, to run outside as heavily armed arrest teams arrived at the scene. One video showed a man in handcuffs wearing what appeared to be combat trousers.

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,” they wrote. “We also think of everybody who lived in fear during these terrible actions,” they added.

Crime levels are low in the Netherlands, although the country has recently seen an increase in gun shootings, usually attributed to score-settling by rival drug gangs.

In 2019, three people were killed on a tram in Utrecht, sparking a large manhunt.

This year, Rotterdam has been rocked by small explosions at homes and businesses blamed on rival gangs – Agencies