Third person arrested over deadly Utrecht tram shooting

21 March, 2019, 11:58 | Author: Carlos George
  • Dutch Police Arrest Third Suspect Over Deadly Shooting in Utrecht

ASSOCIATED PRESS Construction workers who witnessed Monday's shooting incident in a tram put flowers at the site in Utrecht, Netherlands, on Tuesday.

Police found a letter in the suspect's auto which indicated that the attacker may have had a terror motive.

Police spokesman Martin de Wit said that a total of three people were in custody following Monday's attack, the alleged shooter and two others, whose involvement was being investigated.

Police found a red Renault Clio after Monday's attack which they said Tanis had used to flee.

Police stand at the 24 Oktoberplace in Utrecht, March 18, 2019, where a shooting took place on a tram.

Public prosecution office spokesperson Ties Kortmann said Gokmen Tanis, 37, is being held on suspicion of manslaughter with a possible terrorist motive, but investigations are continuing into what drove Tanis to allegedly open fire in a tram.

Dutch authorities reduced the threat level in the city back to four out of five following the arrest of Tanis, which came after a manhunt involving heavily armed officers with dogs.

"A terrorist motive is being seriously considered", Utrecht's police and public prosecutor said in a joint statement. They have not ruled out other possible motives.

A letter found in a getaway auto used by the Utrecht tram shooting suspect suggests a terror motive was behind the attack, police said on Tuesday.

Third person arrested over deadly Utrecht tram shooting

In an unusual step, judicial authorities released details of Tanis' criminal past, and said he was released from jail on March 1 and faces trial in July on a rape charge.

Dutch media published details of two of the victims killed Monday - the 19-year-old woman reportedly worked in a café in Vianen, and a father of three who volunteered as a soccer coach in Vleuten, a town west of Utrecht.

"A day later, I am still filled with horror", Rutte told parliament.

Flags were flying half-mast on many buildings around the Netherlands and on foreign embassies.

He was convicted for illegal weapons possession in 2014 and for shop lifting and burglary earlier this month.

According to Dutch media, Tanis has already had legal problems.

Broadcaster NOS meanwhile said some of his relatives had links to fundamentalist Islamic groups, but also that he was known for unstable behaviour after divorcing his wife two years ago.

Support for the Netherlands poured in from around the world including the United States, the European Union and Russian Federation after the attack.

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