Football coach, 19 y.o. woman among victims of Utrecht shooting; 3 suspects in custody

Police at the scene of a mass shooting on 24 Oktoberplein in Utrecht, 18 March 2019
Police at the scene of a mass shooting on 24 Oktoberplein in Utrecht, 18 March 2019. (Photo: Politie)

Update 10:10 a.m. - On Tuesday morning Utrecht mayor Jan van Zanen said in a radio interview that two of the suspects were released, but investigators contradicted him. As of 9:48 a.m. on Tuesday all three suspects were still in custody, police in Utrecht said.

More information is becoming available about the victims of a mass shooting on 24 Oktoberplein in Utrecht on Monday morning. Rinke Terpstra, a coach at football association DESTO in Leisdche Rijn, and Roos Verschuur, a 19-year-old employee of the Kwalitaria snackbar in Vianen, were killed in the shooting. So far no details are available about the third victim killed. Five people were injured. At this stage the police have three people in custody, including suspected gunman Gokmen T. How the other two suspects were involved in the shooting, the police have not yet said, according to RTL Nieuws.

Kwalitaria Delifrance is devastated by the death of their colleague Roos Verschuur, AD reports. The doors of the snack bar where she worked closed the moment they received the news of her death. A spokesperson for Franchise Friendly Concepts, the headquarters of all Kwalitaria fast food locations, told the newspaper that she can not make any statements out of respect for the victim. "It can be clear that the death of our employee hit us extremely hard. She was only 19. There are no words for this. We can't comprehend this."

The Kwalitaria staff will gather on Tuesday to commemorate Roos.

Coach Rinke Terpstra's death is a massive blow for football club DESTO, chairman Frits Velthuijs said to AD. "We have informed all members and will see in the coming days whether we will play football on Saturday. [Tuesday] evening there will be meetings for the players of JO19-1 and the girls under 11-2. Rinke was a much appreciated coach there. Our condolences go out to the family. Rinke has been involved with DESTO for a long time, where he himself played football, tennis and also trained both his sons and daughter with passion. A true DESTO family."

Two of Terpstra's children attend the Christelijk Gymnasium in Utrecht, which is located near the 24 Oktoberplein. The school will commemorate Terpstra on Tuesday. The school management informed all parents about what happened and made victim support available to all pupils. All tests scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday are canceled. "Just after we had let all the pupils go home with confidence, a horrible message arrived", the school management said. "One of the victims is the father of two of our students (in grades 4 and 6). We are very affected by this."

According to NOS, one of the five people injured in the shooting is a young woman from Nieuwegein. On Facebook she wrote: "I'm fine, for questions contact my parents or my sister." One of her friends told the broadcaster that the gunman first shot another girl and then wanted to shoot her, but his weapon initially didn't fire. She tried to protect herself with her bag, but was hit anyway. According to the friend, the bullet pierced her lungs and lodged in her shoulder, where it still was on Monday night. She is the medium care department of the hospital. 

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