Suspect ID'd in Utrecht shooting; Terrorism investigation underway

Gökmen T. suspected in the Utrecht shooting on Oktoberplein
Gökmen T., 37, a Turkish-born suspect in the shooting on 24 Oktoberplein in Utrecht. 18 March 2019photo: Politie Utrecht

22:20, 18 March 2019: The story was edited to redact the arrested suspect's last name.

Police in Utrecht are searching for 37-year-old Gökmen T. in connection with the apparent fatal shooting at 24 Oktoberplein in the city. Police released a photo of the man, while simultaneously authorities were investigating the scene of an abandoned car with broadcast reports of a possible explosion threat.

T. was born in Turkey, police said. He is sought in connection with the Monday morning shooting that was being investigated as a possible terrorist attack. Authorities were asking that anyone who knows T.'s whereabouts contact them directly. "Do not approach him yourself, but immediately call the investigation hotline, 0800-6070," police said.

Meanwhile, a red Renault Clio was found abandoned on Tichelaarslaan near Boomgaardlaan. The location is about five kilometers away from where the shooting took place on a tram in city.

A woman who discovered the car told the broadcaster, "The car had been running for some time, up to three hours with the engine on, the window slightly open and a note hanging from it." When pressed to describe the note, she added, "I read the last line, but I prefer not to say what it said."

By 2 p.m., the broadcaster said that there was a threat of explosion at the location. However, authorities had not declared such a threat on official channels as of 2:30 p.m.

Back closer to the site of the shooting, armed police were actively investigating a first-floor flat on Trumanlaan. A large, heavily armed team entered a housing block there, but did not immediately reveal what they had found.

The municipality of Utrecht was telling people to stay indoors and off the street as the police hunt for suspects continued.