After an 8-hour manhunt, Dutch police arrest a Turkish-born terror suspect accused of killing 3 in a tram shooting

  • Three people are dead and five others are injured in a shooting inside a tram in the Dutch city of Utrecht on Monday morning.
  • Police are investigating a possible terrorist motive.
  • Officials said on Monday evening that the Turkish-born man suspected of opening fire on the tram had been arrested.
  • Police earlier on Monday named 37-year-old Gökmen Tanis as the primary suspect in the shooting.

A suspect has been detained after at least three people died and five people were injured in a shooting on a tram in Utrecht, central Netherlands, on Monday morning.

Police said on Monday evening that a Turkish-born man suspected of opening fire on the tram had been arrested after an eight-hour man hunt, according to the New York Times. Officials earlier identified the man as 37-year-old Gökmen Tanis.

The suspected gunman opened fire in a tram at the 24 Oktoberplein tram stop around 10:45 a.m. local time, police said. It’s unclear if other people are involved.

Utrecht’s mayor, Jan van Zanen, updated the death toll – which stood at one earlier in the day – around 3 p.m. local time. Police revised the number of injured people down from nine around 4:30 p.m.

Police tweeted a photo of Turkish-born Tanis earlier on Monday, saying he was a person they believe was associated with the shooting. The force asked people to look out for Tanis but warned: “Do not approach him.”

Dutch Justice Minister Ferd Grapperhaus said the suspect “was known” to authorities and had a criminal record, according to the Associated Press.

Several shots were fired inside the tram during the shooting Monday morning, Reuters reported, citing police spokesman Joost Lanshage.

The shooting took place in a residential neighbourhood just outside the city center, according to Reuters and The Associated Press.

Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg, the Netherlands’ anti-terrorism coordinator, told reporters on Monday: “We cannot exclude a terrorist motive,” according to the BBC.

Aalberberg added that there were shootings at “several locations” around the city on Monday, but did not give further details.

Utrecht Mayor van Zanen and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte also said a terrorist motive could not be excluded, the Associated Press reported.

Utrecht tram shootingGoogle Maps/INSIDERMap showing the approximate location of the shooting.

“If it is a terror attack, then we have only one answer: Our nation, democracy, must be stronger that fanaticism and violence,” Rutte said.

Rutte he was “deeply concerned” and that he would hold crisis talks with senior government officials in response to the incident.

“If it had terror motives, that is being investigated. But it was very serious. The world shares our grief,” he added.

Dutch authorities reduced the terrorism threat level in Utrecht province to level 4 on Monday evening after raising to level 5, the highest possible, following the shooting.

Ahead of the suspect’s arrest, German police increased surveillance on their country’s border with the Netherlands and were looking out for the suspected shooter or shooters, The Associated Press reported.

Earlier on Monday Dutch TV showed counter-terrorism officers surrounding a house in Utrecht – suggesting plans for a raid – but nobody appeared to be arrested there.

Jimmy de Koster, who lives in the neighbourhood, told De Telegraaf newspaper that he saw a woman lying on the ground shouting: “I have done nothing.”

The shooting suspect’s father, Mehmet Tanis, told the Demiroren news agency that his son should be punished if he is to blame for the shootings, according to the Associated Press.

“If he did it, he should pay the penalty,” Mehmet Tanis said, adding that he hadn’t spoken to his son in 11 years.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.