Shooting in Amsterdam Centrum leaves three hurt

Crime scene (Photo: Politie)Crime scene (Photo: Politie)

Three people were injured when a gunman opened fire into a coffee business Today on Dusartstraat in the popular Amsterdam-Zuid district of De Pijp at around 7:00 p.m. on Thursday evening. One victim was seriously hurt, the other two sustained less serious injuries, witnesses told Het Parool.

According to the newspaper, this was an attempted assassination. Several sources told Het Parool that the target - the man who was seriously injured - is an Dutch-Pakistani known as Saqib who belongs to a group of criminals that regularly visits Today. 

Witnesses saw a white Volkswagen Caddy drive up to Today - a former coffeeshop that no longer sells cannabis because it is located too close to a school. A man with a helmet got out, walked to the business and started shooting at the customers inside. He got back into the van and it drove off. The seriously hurt man was hit in his upper body multiple times. The second victim was hit in his upper leg, the third in his arm, according to the newspaper. 

Lawyer Gerald Roethof, whose office is around 50 meters away from the scene of the crime, heard seven bangs, he said to Het Parool. "It sounded like shots from a semi-automatic handgun", he said. "I waited for a while and went outside when I heard nothing more. The seriously wounded man in his late 30s was hit in his right breast and possibly also his stomach." Bystanders tried to help him. "Someone tried to stop the bleeding. A nurse spoke to him to keep him calm."

Roethof and other witnesses told the newspaper that it took the ambulances 10 minutes to arrive. "I called three times. The connection kept breaking. The police were quick. As was a SWAT team, but there was nothing they could do", the lawyer said. 

Another witness said that once the paramedics did arrive, one quickly said that 'there's no point in this' when helping the seriously hurt victim. "The guy was in a panic and stared straight ahead", the witness said. "His skin color was dark at first, but eventually he turned deathly pale."

A white Volkswagen Caddy was later found burnt out on Sadionkade in Amsterdam Zuid. 

Shortly before this shooting, there was another shooting incident elsewhere in the city, according to Shots were fired on Oetgenstraat. Police officers with guns drawn arrested three suspects in a car. A spokesperson for the police could not tell the newspaper whether these shootings were related. 

The shooting on Dusartstraat coincided with Femke Halsema being sworn in as the new mayor of Amsterdam. In her speech she called the fight against crime and maintenance of the law priorities for her. 

This was the second shooting in De Pijp this week. During the early hours of Monday morning, shots were fired at a home on Quellijnstraat.