Parents not responsible for Dutch mall shooting: Court

The parents of Tristan van der Vlis is not responsible for their son killing five people and hurting 17 others in a shooting in Alphen aan den Rijn in 2011, the court in The Hague ruled on Wednesday. According to the court, Van der Vlis' parents couldn't know beforehand that their son was planning the mass shooting, ANP reports.

A group of 13 victims sued Van der Vlis' parents because they believe the parents should have intervened when he obtained a gun license, despite his psychological problems. On Wednesday the court ruled that the parents justifiably trusted that the police would take the psychological problems into account when deciding whether or not to issue the license. 

On April 9th, 2011 the 24-year-old Van der Vlis opened fire in the Ridderhof shopping center in Alphen aan den Rijn. He killed five people and injured 17 others before turning the gun on himself and committing suicide. 

The victims are "disappointed" with the ruling, their lawyer said to ANP. "We are still convinced that Tristan's parents knew more." The victims haven't yet decided whether they will appeal.

Tristan's parents are "enormously relieved" that they won't be held accountable for their son's actions, their lawyer Peter Knijp said to newspaper AD. "It was the outcome we hoped for and also the one we expected."