Police hopeful for leads on getaway car in Amsterdam intern's murder

Flowers and messages left at a community center in Amsterdam's Oostelijke Eilanden where 17-year-old Mohammed Bouchikhi was killed on 26 January 2018
Flowers and messages left at a community center in Amsterdam's Oostelijke Eilanden where 17-year-old Mohammed Bouchikhi was killed on 26 January 2018Photo: Zachary Newmark / NL Times

The police have "good hope" that the getaway car used in a shooting at a community center in Amsterdam on Friday, will provide trace evidence that can lead to the perpetrators, the police said on Opsoring Verzocht on Tuesday. 17-year-old Mohammed Bouchikhi, an intern at the community center on Grote Wittenburgerstraat, was killed in the shooting.

The shooting happened around 7:30 p.m. on Friday. Bouchikhi was killed, and two others were injured. A BMW 1 was found burning on Dantestraat in Zuidoost around 10:30 p.m. The police believe this was the perpetrators' getaway car. The fire department managed to extinguish the fire quickly, so the police are hopeful that not all trace evidence in the car was destroyed.

Investigation revealed that the car was also seen on Dantestraat and the surrounding area before the shooting happened. 

The police would like to speak to anyone who witnessed the shooting, or can provide more information about the incident. People with security cameras in the area are asked to upload their footage to the police site. Investigators are also looking for people who saw the black BMW 1 in the vicinity of Dantestraat. 

During the broadcast, a police spokesperson repeated that Bouchikhi did not have a criminal record and had no previous contact with the authorities. "From all stories comes the image of a very sweet and involved boy. For example, he did refugee work abroad", she said. 

Due to his clean record, it is believed that Bouchikhi was not the intended target of this attack. The actual target may have been 19-year-old Gianni L., who was one of the two others injured in the shooting. He was shot in the neck, but after surgery is now in a stable condition in hospital. Gianni does have a criminal record, and was also a victim in a shooting in the same area in November. A 19-year-old Amsterdam resident was killed in that shooting, and three others were injured. 

The third victim of Friday night's shooting is a 20-year-old woman who also works as an intern in the community center. She was injured in the legs. The police believe that she was hit accidentally. 

Interim Amsterdam mayor Jozias van Aartsen called the shooting "heartbreaking". Earlier this week he announced that extra security measures will be taken in the neighborhood, Oostelijke Eilanden. These include a portable police station in the area, more police officers on the street, and surveillance cameras installed at strategic locations.

A silent march will be held for Mohammed in the neighborhood on Sunday, March 25th. The boy will be buried in Morocco, as per family tradition.