THE HAGUE (AFP) - A shooting in downtown Amsterdam on Friday (Jan 26) night left one person dead and two injured, Dutch police said.
“One person has died and two wounded, a man and a young woman, were taken to hospital after a shooting on Grote Wittenburgerstraat, in the city centre,” Amsterdam police spokesman Leo Dortland told AFP.
While police refused to name the victim, Dutch media reported that he was a 17-year-old boy of Moroccan origin.
He was reportedly shot near a children’s playground in front of a community centre where children were taking cookery and kickboxing classes.
A wave of fear spread quickly throughout the Dutch capital, very popular with tourists, but Dortland said: “This is clearly not a terror attack, but a criminal incident.”
Shots were fired from an automatic weapon, according to shocked witnesses who said they saw a hooded man run away after his victim fell to the ground, Dutch media reported.
“Many rumours are circulating, we must be very careful what people say, and not give in to the emotion,” the police spokesman added.
“This is the third criminal incident this week in Amsterdam, so people are very sensitive to gunfire,” said Dortland.
Officers from the force’s research unit cordoned off the scene to take fingerprints and interview witnesses, while a widespread search was under way to trace the gunman or gunmen.
Shocked residents were in tears as they realised what had happened, daily Het Parool reported.