Utrecht tram shooting: Three dead, multiple people injured in shooting inside a tram, manhunt launched
A shooting on a tram in the central Dutch city of Utrecht on Monday has left at least three people dead and nine people injured. Police said a manhunt has been launched for the shooter and added that they are considering the possibility of a "terrorist motive."
Police, including heavily armed officers, flooded the area after the shooting that happened in the morning on a tram at a busy traffic intersection in a residential neighborhood.
BREEK - Volgens getuigen heeft een man in een tram op weg naar Utrecht CS een wapen getrokken en meerdere personen neergeschoten. Hulpdiensten massaal aanwezig en bezig met eerste hulp in de tram. pic.twitter.com/eQOWF2e5Ze— Yelle Tieleman (@YelleTieleman) March 18, 2019
Victims have been taken off the tram and have been rushed to nearby hospitals. Utrecht police report that was posted on Twitter said that the area around the tram has largely been closed off to the public and has also requested for assistance.
The tram system has been stopped in the entire city. Parts of the road where the incident took place have also been blocked off for emergency services to use on the A12 at Oudenrijn.
24 oktoberplein Utrecht pic.twitter.com/7NlFtBrqBK— firstname.lastname@example.org (@lilianbruigom) March 18, 2019
Utrecht police said that trauma helicopters were sent to the scene and appealed to the public to stay away to allow first responders to do their work. Television footage showed that a body appeared to be lying next to the tram.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte called the situation "very worrying" and the country's counterterror coordinator said in a tweet that a crisis team was meeting to discuss the situation. The alert level was raised to its highest level for the area around Utrecht.
Meanwhile, Mayor Van Zanen updated details in a video on Twitter that at least three people died in the attack in Utrecht, and at least nine were injured.
Burgemeester Jan van Zanen reageert op het schietincident eerder vandaag pic.twitter.com/PzI6t2tPtX— Gemeente Utrecht (@GemeenteUtrecht) March 18, 2019
Police spokesman Bernhard Jens said that no one had been detained yet. Jens said that "one explanation is that the person fled by car." He did not rule out the possibility that more than one person was involved.
"We want to try to catch the person responsible as soon as possible," Jens said.
Meanwhile, the police are asking the public to look out for 37-year-old Gökmen Tanis (born in Turkey) in connection with the incident. People have been advised not to approach him but call on the tip line 0800-6070.
Correction: The name is spelled "Gökmen Tanis". https://t.co/t7iXZZkGFd— Politie Utrecht (@PolitieUtrecht) March 18, 2019
Reporter Jeroen Wielaert, who was in the area where the perpetrator lived talked to local residents, once his identity was revealed, and they alleged that Tanis was "not really stable".
With AP inputs