Utrecht tram shooting

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On the morning of 18 March 2019, three people were killed and seven others injured in a mass shooting on a tram in Utrecht, Netherlands.[1] One of the injured died of his injuries ten days later.[2] Local police said the incident appeared to be a terrorist attack, although this is yet to be confirmed.[3][4][5][6] The suspect, a 37-year-old Turkish man, was arrested hours later that day at a ING bank building following a major security operation and manhunt.[7][8] He admitted carrying out the attack and was charged with "murder with terrorist intent".[9][10] He can be sentenced to life in prison in the first degree if found guilty.[11]

Oktoberplein Utrecht Tram Shooting
Part of Islamic terrorism in Europe
Afzetting van het 24 Oktoberplein, Utrecht op 18 maart 2019 na de tramaanslag die dag.jpg
The tram after the attack
Location 24 Oktoberplein.png
Location of the shooting
Location24 Oktoberplein, Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands
Coordinates52°04′51″N 5°05′29″E / 52.0807°N 5.0914°E / 52.0807; 5.0914Coordinates: 52°04′51″N 5°05′29″E / 52.0807°N 5.0914°E / 52.0807; 5.0914
Date18 March 2019 (2019-03-18)
10:45 (CET)
TargetCivilians and atheists
Attack type
Mass shooting
Deaths4
Injured6

AttackEdit

At about 10:45 CET (09:45 UTC), a shooting took place on a fast tram near the 24 Oktoberplein junction in Utrecht.[12] The perpetrator fled in a car, leading to a large scale police manhunt, which lasted for much of the day.[6] Several hours later, the police arrested a 37-year-old man, born in Turkey.[13][14][15] In addition, two further arrests were made in connection to the shooting.[16] Police impounded a red Renault Clio car in connection with the attack.[17][18]

Initially, it was reported that one of the women shot may have been the target due to "family reasons" and other passengers coming to her aid were then also targeted.[19] However, law enforcement later announced there was no evidence of any connection between the killer and the victims. Instead, a note found in the getaway car hinted at terrorism as the motive.[20] The Justice Ministry revealed that a portion of the suspect's letter read "I do this for my faith, you kill Muslims and you want to take our faith away from us, but will not succeed. Allah is great."[21]

VictimsEdit

Three people were killed and seven others were injured, three severely.[22][1] The injured were taken to the University Medical Center Utrecht.[23] The three people killed were identified as two men from Utrecht aged 49 and 28, and a 19-year-old woman from the nearby city of Vianen.[24] A neighbour of the murdered 19-year-old started a crowd-funding action to cover the costs of her funeral, reaching the target within hours. It received so many donations that it was turned into a fund for all of the victims of the attack.[25][26]

A 74-year-old man injured in the shooting died of his injuries on 28 March,[27] bringing the death toll to four. One victim remains injured in hospital.[2]

SuspectEdit

A 37-year-old resident of Utrecht from Turkey was arrested after a manhunt on the day of the attack.[28][29][30]

On 22 March 2019, the suspect confessed to being the sole perpetrator of the shooting.[31] Another suspect was arrested but then released.[9] A letter found in the hijacked car the suspect fled in suggested terrorist motivations;[32] some witnesses claimed they heard the suspect say "Allahu akbar".[33] The public prosecutor charged the suspect with three counts of murder with a terrorist motive.[31]

On 1 July 2019, the contents of the found letter were made public. "I am doing this for my religion. You guys are killing Muslims and want to take my religion away from me. You will not succeed in that. Allah is great."[34] NOS Journaal called the suspect insane and a "drug addict" according to police research, stating that insanity does not preclude assent to terrorist ideology.[35][36]

AftermathEdit

After the attack, the threat level in the province of Utrecht was raised to Level 5: this is the highest level of threat and had never been used before this attack.[37][38] After the suspect was caught, it was reduced to Level 4.[8] The police presence was increased at railway stations, including Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, and Utrecht, and at the country's airports.[37][39] Tram services in the city were cancelled.[40][41] Elite police forces carrying semi-automatic weapons guarded Jewish community buildings.[42] Mosques in the city were evacuated, and those elsewhere in the country were given increased security, likely due to the recent mosque shootings in New Zealand.[23]

The day after the shooting, all national flags on government buildings in the Netherlands and at diplomatic posts abroad were flown at half-mast on request of Prime Minister Mark Rutte.[43] Dutch royal residences flew a black banner, symbolising mourning, alongside the customary royal standard.[44] In addition, election debates and political campaigning for the provincial elections on 20 March 2019 were suspended by effectively all politicians.[45]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "LIVE: Rutte legt bloemen, Tanis uiterlijk vrijdag voor rechter, "Utrecht, stay strong"". RTV Utrecht (in Dutch). 19 March 2019. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Fourth victim dies following Utrecht tram attack". NBC News. 28 March 2019. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  3. ^ "Gewonden door schoten in tram Utrecht, terroristisch motief niet uitgesloten". NOS (in Dutch). 18 March 2019. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  4. ^ "NCTV: vermoedelijk terroristische aanslag, schutter nog voortvluchtig". NOS (in Dutch). 18 March 2019. Archived from the original on 18 March 2019. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  5. ^ "Burgemeester Jan van Zanen reageert op het schietincident eerder vandaag" (in Dutch). 18 March 2019. Archived from the original on 19 March 2019. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  6. ^ a b Davies, Gareth (18 March 2019). "Utrecht shooting: At least one dead after 'potential terror attack' on tram". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 18 March 2019. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  7. ^ "Dutch shooting: Utrecht police arrest suspect after three killed - BBC News". BBC News. Bbc.com. 18 March 2019. Archived from the original on 18 March 2019. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  8. ^ a b Meijer, Bart (18 March 2019). "Dutch police arrest Turkish man suspected of killing three in tram shooting". Reuters. Archived from the original on 18 March 2019. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  9. ^ a b "Utrecht tram shooting suspect confesses, claims he acted alone". Deutsche Welle, 22 March 2019. Retrieved 23 March 2019.
  10. ^ Franck, Roeland (22 March 2019). "Gökmen Tanis bekent schietpartij in tram in Utrecht". AD (in Dutch). Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  11. ^ Schildkamp, Victor (24 March 2019). "Gökmen Tanis levenslang? Hij kan ook over 13 jaar weer vrij zijn". AD (in Dutch). Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  12. ^ Henley, Jon (18 March 2019). "Utrecht shooting: several injured on tram as man opens fire". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 18 March 2019. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  13. ^ "Politie geeft foto vrij van verdachte" (in Dutch). 18 March 2019. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  14. ^ "Politie Utrecht zoekt 37-jarige verdachte Gökmen Tanis" (in Dutch). 18 March 2019. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  15. ^ "Utrecht tram shooting: Suspected gunman arrested". LBC. 18 March 2019. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  16. ^ "Vermoedelijke dader en twee andere verdachten aanslag Utrecht opgepakt". NU (in Dutch). 18 March 2019. Archived from the original on 19 March 2019. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  17. ^ "Drie doden bij aanslag in Utrecht, inwoners moeten binnenblijven" (in Dutch). NOS: Nederlandse Omroep Stichting, Hilversum. 18 March 2019. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  18. ^ "'Gestolen' rode Renault Clio aangetroffen in Utrecht". Telegraaf (in Dutch). 18 March 2019. Archived from the original on 19 March 2019. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  19. ^ Jon Henley and Jennifer Rankin (18 March 2019). "Utrecht tram shooting suspect arrested after three killed". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 18 March 2019. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  20. ^ "Strong indication of terrorist aim in the fatal shooting event in and around the Utrecht tram". Public Prosecution Ministry of the Netherlands (in Dutch). Openbaar Ministerie. 1 July 2019. Retrieved 7 October 2019. the handwritten text on a letter found in the flight car reads: “I do this for my faith, you kill Muslims and you want to take our faith away from us, but will not succeed. Allah is great.
  21. ^ "Three dead as Dutch police hunt tram gunman". 18 March 2019. Archived from the original on 18 March 2019. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  22. ^ a b Schuetze, Christopher F.; Barthelemy, Claire; Schreuer, Milan (18 March 2019). "Gunman Attacks Tram Passengers in Utrecht, Dutch Police Say". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 18 March 2019. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  23. ^ "Dutch shooting: Letter suggests motive in Utrecht attack". BBC News. Bbc.com. 19 March 2019. Archived from the original on 19 March 2019. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  24. ^ "Inzamelingsactie Roos (19) groot succes, nu voor alle slachtoffers aanslag". RTV Utrecht (in Dutch).
  25. ^ "Kleine bijdrage in kosten afscheid lieve Roos". Archived from the original on 20 March 2019. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  26. ^ "Zoon van vierde slachtoffer aanslag Utrecht: 'Hij heeft zo veel geleden'". NOS (in Dutch). 28 March 2019. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  27. ^ "Dutch police arrest tram shooting suspect". 19 March 2019. Retrieved 21 March 2019.
  28. ^ "Utrecht shootings suspect accused of rape, jailed for burglary and cleared of manslaughter". The Independent. 19 March 2019. Retrieved 21 March 2019.
  29. ^ "Buurtgenoten: 'Gökmen Tanis geen terrorist'". Panorama (in Dutch). 19 March 2019. Retrieved 21 March 2019.
  30. ^ a b "Gökmen T. bekent aanslag Utrecht, motief blijft onduidelijk". NOS (in Dutch). 22 March 2019. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
  31. ^ "OM: Geen relatie tussen slachtoffers en Gökmen Tanis". AD.nl (in Dutch). 19 March 2019. Retrieved 21 March 2019.
  32. ^ "OM houdt vanwege briefje ernstig rekening met terrorisme, geen relatie met slachtoffers". RTV Utrecht (in Dutch). 19 March 2019. Retrieved 23 March 2019.
  33. ^ "Inhoud briefje van tramschutter Gökmen T. bekend: 'Ik deed het voor mijn geloof'". Gids.tv (in Dutch). 1 July 2019. Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  34. ^ Hasan Coşkun, NOS Journaal, 1 July 2019, 7:00 AM CEST
  35. ^ See also Koop, Peter; Tieleman, Yelle (3 July 2019). "Hoe gek is de Utrechtse tramschutter Gökmen Tanis?". Algemeen Dagblad (in Dutch). Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  36. ^ a b "Gunman opens fire in Utrecht tram". BBC News. 18 March 2019. Archived from the original on 18 March 2019. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  37. ^ "Dutch PM "very concerned" by possible terrorist attack in Utrecht". NL Times. 18 March 2019. Archived from the original on 19 March 2019. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  38. ^ "Extra toezicht bij stations en moskeeën in Rotterdam na mogelijke aanslag Utrecht". rijnmond.nl (in Dutch). 18 March 2019. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  39. ^ "Gunman opens fire inside Dutch tram". 18 March 2019. Archived from the original on 18 March 2019. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  40. ^ @UOV_info (18 March 2019). "Ten gevolge van een schietpartij ligt het tramverkeer in Utrecht momenteel geheel stil. We weten nog niet hoe lang dit gaat duren. Van/naar Nieuwegein verwijzen we u nu door naar de buslijnen 74 en 77" (Tweet) (in Dutch) – via Twitter.
  41. ^ Liphshiz, Cnaan (19 March 2019). "Deadly Utrecht Attack Leads to Heightened Security for Dutch Jews". The Jerusalem Post. Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  42. ^ "Rutte: vlaggen op overheidsgebouwen vandaag halfstok". nos.nl (in Dutch). Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  43. ^ "Vlaggen in regio halfstok als eerbetoon slachtoffers aanslag Utrecht". AD (in Dutch). ANP. 19 March 2019. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  44. ^ "Verkiezingscampagne opgeschort na gebeurtenissen Utrecht; geen debat". AD. 18 March 2019. Archived from the original on 18 March 2019. Retrieved 18 March 2019.

External linksEdit