Automatic gunfire in Rotterdam; man seriously hurt

Dutch police at the scene of a crime
Dutch police at the scene of a crimePhoto: twixx/DepositPhotos

A 26-year-old man from Rotterdam was seriously hurt in a shooting at a cafe in the center of the city on Sunday night. The victim was rushed to hospital, the police said. Around 10 shots were fired with an automatic firearm, bystanders told broadcaster NOS.

The shooting happened at around 9:30 p.m. at coffee bar Roffa Coffee on Nieuwe Binnenweg. The street was pretty crowded at the time. Witnesses reported seeing a car with Belgian license plates leave the scene after the shooting. 

Bullet holes are visible in the coffee bar's facade. Over 10 bullet casings were found on the street, according to the broadcaster.

The police closed down a wide area around the scene of the hooting, for trace evidence investigation and to make sure that emergency workers can do their jobs undisturbed. Witnesses are called to come forward.

Last week the municipality of Rotterdam announced a number of unorthodox measures in an effort to reduce the gun violence in the city. In the first half of this year there were 72 shootings in the city, the same number as over the entire 2018. The measures include offering cash rewards  for tips leading to guns being seized, and the Public Prosecutor being able to designate someone a 'safety risk' so that they can be searched for weapons in a precautionary fashion.