A 32-year-old gunman, donned in combat gear and a bulletproof vest, carried out a deadly shooting spree that left three people lost in Rotterdam.
The shocking attacks targeted a family home and a classroom at the Erasmus MC university hospital, sending shockwaves through the Dutch city.
Dutch authorities are diligently investigating the motives behind the rampage, which began with the assailant forcibly entering a house in Rotterdam. There, he shot a 39-year-old woman and inflicted serious injuries upon her 14-year-old daughter, who tragically succumbed to her wounds.
Following the house attack, the assailant moved to the Erasmus MC university hospital, entering a classroom and fatally shooting a 46-year-old teacher before setting the room ablaze. Chaos and panic unfolded as elite police units swiftly responded to secure the hospital premises.
Eyewitnesses described the harrowing scenes as patients, medical personnel, and staff evacuated the building, reeling from the traumatic events. "You don't expect this in the Netherlands," said a stunned resident, echoing the sentiments of many in the community.
Rotterdam's Mayor, Ahmed Aboutaleb, expressed his profound sorrow, describing it as a "very dark day" for the city. "We have been shocked by a horrific incident," he said, conveying condolences to the families of the victims.
The gunman, a student at the hospital, was taken into custody and identified as having a prior conviction for animal cruelty. This revelation has raised concerns about his mental state and the potential motivations behind his heinous acts. An ongoing investigation seeks to determine whether he had any connection to the teacher he targeted.
While Rotterdam has witnessed its share of violence, often attributed to rival drug gangs, this shocking and deadly attack has profoundly shaken the community. Prime Minister Mark Rutte expressed his dismay, while King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima extended their heartfelt condolences to those affected by the tragedy.
As the investigation continues, Rotterdam grapples with the senseless loss of three lives, with the community in mourning and seeking answers to the unfathomable events that unfolded on that tragic Thursday.