Amsterdam shuts Shisha cafe at center of midnight murder

Black screens put up to close off the crime scene of the shooting on De Clercqstraat, Amsterdam (Picture: Twitter/@RobertFlos). (Black screens put up to close off the crime scene of the shooting on De Clercqstraat, Amsterdam (Picture: Twitter/@RobertFlos))

Amsterdam mayor Eberhard van der Laan ordered the closure of the Tapas Village shisha bar, the city announced Wednesday evening. The cafe is believed to be a stronghold in the criminal underworld, frequently used for gang meetings, and the focal point of in the city's Kinkerbuurt neighborhood.

Witnesses at the scene said  just before the shooting, armed with a Kalashnikov and a pistol, and hunting a man who had just left. Those men were allegedly shot at, in an effort to scare them off, and they fled the scene blasting their guns into the street. Bullets flew through the neighborhood, striking a passing Line 3 tram, and several parked cars.

A statement from Amsterdam city hall said that "the catering company on De Clercqstraat is immediately and indefinitely closed. The imposed measure was taken due to the serious disruption of public order because one of the already-present customers fired a shot from inside the shisha lounge."

Police consulted with the mayor, reminding him of several, often violent incidents that took place at Tapas Village in recent years, the statement said.

A 25-year-old from Zaandam was killed in the shooting while sitting in a car. Police are looking for two suspects that , and who investigators think was in the car at the time of the incident.

“It is hard to understand that the other passenger still stays away, even hours after the murder, if we are dealing with an innocent victim,” a police spokesperson told the Parool, when asked if the person killed was a bystander.