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Tram Shooting Suspect Arrested

3 dead in Netherlands tragedy
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 18, 2019 11:15 AM CDT
Updated Mar 18, 2019 1:13 PM CDT
Rescue workers remove a screen from the tram where a shooting incident took place in Utrecht, Netherlands, Monday, March 18, 2019.   (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
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(Newser) – Three people are dead in the wake of a shooting on a tram in the Dutch city of Utrecht, and police say a suspect is in custody in the Monday morning incident, which also left five injured. "I just heard that the suspect we were hunting has been arrested," the police chief said Monday, per the AP. Police had earlier said they were looking for a Turkish man in connection with the shooting; they released an image of Gokmen Tanis, 37, but gave no further details beyond warning the public not to approach him, Reuters reports. It was not immediately confirmed whether he is the same person who has been arrested. "Our country today has been jolted by an attack in Utrecht," Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who has convened crisis talks, said in a statement. "Police and prosecutors are looking into what exactly happened. What’s known now is that there was shooting at people sitting in a tram in Utrecht." Earlier, police had said there was a "possible terrorist motive."

Reuters, citing local media, says one witness told a newspaper the shooter targeted one woman, then shot anyone who tried to help her. Another witness cited by a local broadcaster says he saw a woman on the ground "amid some type of confrontation," per Reuters, as several men ran from the scene. But "a lot is still unclear at this point and local authorities are working hard to establish all the facts," said Counter-Terrorism Agency head Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg at a press conference. The AP, citing a Turkish news agency, says some of Tanis' relatives believe he may have shot at someone close to the family due to "family issues." Tanis' father says he had not spoken to his son in 11 years. Gun killings are rare in Utrecht, the Netherlands' fourth largest city, per the BBC. (The shooting comes days after New Zealand's horrific mosque shootings.)

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