Three People Killed After Gunman Opens Fire On Tram In Utrecht

Three people have been killed and another nine injured in a shooting in the Dutch city of Utrecht, this morning.

The attack began at 10.45am local time after a gunman opened fire on board a tram at 24 Oktoberplein, a square just outside of the city centre.

The city's mayor Jan van Zanen has confirmed three people have died.

The gunman fled the scene but police have confirmed that no arrests have been made and a manhunt is underway, with officers surrounding an address close to where the attack took place.

Utrecht Police have named Gökmen Tanis, 37, as the man they are looking to speak to in relation to the attack.

The threat level for the Netherlands has been raised to its highest level, with extra security at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport.

The gunman is said to have opened fire on a tram, leaving several people injured. Credit: Twitter/Martijn van der Zande
The gunman is said to have opened fire on a tram, leaving several people injured. Credit: Twitter/Martijn van der Zande

Anti-terror coordinator Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg said: "Threat level up to 5, only for province #utrecht up to 18 hours. Offender still fugitive. Terrorist motif not excluded. Follow Directions Local Authorities."

At a press conference, police confirmed reports of gun shots at 'several locations across Utrecht'.

Schools have been urged to keep their doors locked, while mosques have also been evacuated.

At the time of the shooting, Utrecht Police wrote on Twitter: "The police is investigating the shooting at the #24oktoberplein in Utrecht this morning. A possible terrorist motif is part of the investigation."

Anti-terror police and three emergency helicopters rushed to the scene shortly after, but it is not yet known how many people have been taken to hospital.

A resident who lives close to where the alleged attack happened told RTV Utrecht that several shots were heard and he had seen a woman lying on the ground.

He said: "I didn't do anything. I came from my job when it happened.

"I am standing at the traffic lights on 24 October Square and I see a woman lying down, I think she is between 20 and 35.

"At that moment I heard 'pang pang pang', three times. Four men walked very fast towards her and they tried to drag her away and then I heard 'pang pang pang' again and those guys let go of that woman again."

Police have urged members of the public to stay away from the area while investigations are ongoing and no trams are travelling through the city.

"Shooting incident report # 24oktoberplein in Utrecht was at 10.45 a.m. This is a shooting incident in a tram. Several trauma heli have been deployed to provide assistance," they wrote on Twitter.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said he is 'deeply concerned' about the incident and all political parties have suspended their election campaigns.

Speaking at a press conference, he said: "Our country is currently startled by an attack in Utrecht.". An act of terror is an attack on our open and tolerant society. If it is an act of terror, there is only one answer: our rule of law and democracy is stronger than violence

Police have opened a dedicated phone line for the public to contact with questions and information.

Featured Image Credit: Twitter/Martijn van der Zande

Dominic Smithers

After graduating from Leeds University with a degree in French and History, Dom went onto gain an NCTJ journalism qualification. Since then he has worked as a reporter at the Manchester Evening News and the Macclesfield Express, covering breaking news, court, sports, and politics.

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