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Update From Netherlands Tram Shooting


Earlier today, a gunman opened fire on a tram in the Netherlands in the city of Utrecht. The city's mayor says three people are dead. Several others are injured. At this hour, national authorities have said the gunman remains at large.

Joining us now, reporter Geert Jan Hahn of Dutch radio news channel BNR, who is joining us from the site of what we believe to be the home, or at least the neighborhood, where the gunman lives. Is that right, Geert? Where are you exactly? What's the scene?

GEERT JAN HAHN: Good morning. Yeah. That is the case, actually. The shooting that happened this morning in Utrecht was at 10:45. And about one hour later I arrived at an apartment which is like 500 meters from the scene, from where the incident happened, the tram. And there was a lot of police on the floor, anti-terror organization it looks like. And they kept on investigating and preparing for an attack or something to do inside the building.

This area, this neighborhood is the place where the suspect - where they think that he lives and is from. And this building, we're not sure if the suspect is in it, or that they are looking for a relative or maybe a bomb, an explosive, something in that category.

MARTIN: So this is still a very fluid situation, obviously. And we're relaying details as we can confirm them. But right now, things are still sketchy, clearly. Can you explain, to the extent that you know, how this happened? Was he a passenger on the tram?

JAN HAHN: Well, what we know from footage that was released by the local police, it looks like he was a passenger, yes, because we see camera footage, video, where he was sitting in the tram. Just a few minutes before this guy, who everyone is looking for right now, a 70-year-old man who is a Turkish-Dutch guy, he was just sitting in the tram as far as we can see from the footage.

And then he - the suspect opened fire and killed three persons. And the mayor of Utrecht confirmed there are nine people injured, three of them are in a critical situation.

MARTIN: Do we know if this man, this gunman, was known to authorities? Was he on a terrorist watch list? Had he been suspected of some kind of nefarious behavior in the past?

JAN HAHN: Well, as far as we know, we don't think that's the case. There are some late rumors about this person, about the suspect, that two weeks ago he was in court for a case. He was - I think it had to do something with rape. I'm not sure what it was about, but that's the latest rumor that's going on.

But it's not sure if he was on a terror list. And it's also still not sure. We know that the police are saying there might be a motive of terrorism, but it's still not sure if it's just, as bad as it is, an ordinary shooting or a terror attack.

MARTIN: And we should say, the suspect, reports are showing that he is a 37-year-old man with no previous confirmed record at this point. Reporter Geert Jan Hahn of Dutch radio news BNR. Thank you very much for sharing your reporting. We appreciate it.

JAN HAHN: You're welcome. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.