A number of people have been injured after what was reported to be a single or “several” people opening fire, onboard an urban tram in the Dutch city of Utrecht on Monday morning.
Multiple police and ambulance helicopters responded to the 24th of October Square tram station in the city around 1045 local time after reports of injured people and shooting. Counter-terror police are on the scene and investigating but the Dutch authorities have not yet confirmed the motive of the shooter.
Algemeen Dagblad, a Dutch newspaper with a local office in Utrecht reported that “several” gunmen have attacked passengers onboard the tram before fleeing the scene. Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reports while police are aware of one gunman, they are not presently ruling out multiple attackers.
Police have so far released few details about the incident, nor have they given an indication of how many were injured. There has also been no confirmation on the identity, or motivation of the perpetrator, or if there were multiple gunmen.
UPDATE 1330 — Turkish born male named as a suspect in the shooting
Despite earlier reports of multiple shooters, Dutch police now speak of one suspect, a 37-year-old Turkish origin male named as Gökman Tanis. While officers in the city have surrounded a particular building in the city, as that operation was ongoing the official account shared a security camera image of a male standing on a tram. Police told the public not to approach him if spotted but to telephone with any information, strongly implying that police have not yet successfully pinned the alleged assailant down.
De politie vraagt u uit te kijken naar de 37-jarige Gökman Tanis (geboren in Turkije) in verband met het incident vanmorgen aan het #24oktoberplein in Utrecht.
Benader hem niet zelf maar bel direct de opsporingstiplijn 0800-6070 pic.twitter.com/QZ88s3Wl0k
— Politie Utrecht (@PolitieUtrecht) March 18, 2019
UPDATE 1300 — Police raid addresses across Utrecht
The tram shooter remains on the run, and Dutch police have now advised locals in Utrecht to stay indoors given the possibility of a follow-up attack. Heavily-armed police have been seen raiding several addresses across the city, but there has been no further information about the identity of the attacker.
It is still not known how many people were injured in the attack, but Dutch media reports that all those who need medical treatment have now reached hospital.
Nav het schietincident van het 24 Oktoberplein adviseert de gemeente Utrecht, de politie en het OM (driehoek) iedereen in Utrecht binnen te blijven tot er meer bekend is. Nieuwe incidenten worden niet uitgesloten. De politie is op dit moment nog op zoek naar de dader.
— Gemeente Utrecht (@GemeenteUtrecht) March 18, 2019
UPDATE 1145 — Local media reports one fatality
De Telegraaf reports witness testimony that one body at the scene of the shooting has been covered with a blanket, indicating there was at least one fatality in Utrecht this morning. Comprehensive information about the situation is yet to be forthcoming from police, but the Dutch government has put the city on the highest state of security alert, at least until this evening, as the perpetrator is believed to still be at large.
BREEK – Volgens getuigen heeft een man in een tram op weg naar Utrecht CS een wapen getrokken en meerdere personen neergeschoten. Hulpdiensten massaal aanwezig en bezig met eerste hulp in de tram. pic.twitter.com/eQOWF2e5Ze
— Yelle Tieleman (@YelleTieleman) March 18, 2019
The Dutch government is holding a crisis meeting Monday in the wake of the possible terror attack, cancelling other meetings. Dutch journalists report there is an unusually high level of armed security patrolling outside the parliament building, which officers confirmed was in response to the Utrecht event.
This story is developing and edits are taking place in real time