Locals shocked by Amsterdam shooting; victim identified as pizzeria owner

Police at the scene of a fatal shooting at La Piccola Baracca on Hugo de Grootplein in Amsterdam, 23 Oct 2019
Police at the scene of a fatal shooting at La Piccola Baracca on Hugo de Grootplein in Amsterdam, 23 Oct 2019Photo: Politie

A fatal shooting on Hugo de Grootplein in Amsterdam-West on Wednesday left local business owners shocked. The victim was 49-year-old Goran Savic from Serbia, the owner of pizzeria La Piccola Baracca, where the shooting happened. According to witnesses, he was shot in front of his wife. Savic was trying to protect his friend - a Serbian criminal named Jovan Durovic, who was seriously injured in the shooting, newspaper AD reports.

Acquaintances told the newspaper that Savic is a former soldier who fought in the Balkan War, then lived in Italy before moving to Amsterdam-West with his wife and two young sons. He does not have a criminal record. 

The seriously injured man is believed to be criminal Jovan Durovic an alleged organized crime figure in Montenegro with ties to Dutch gangland boss Willem Holleeder. This was not the first attempt on his life. Last year gunmen opened fire on him on Montenegro, but he managed to escape unharmed. 

The neighbor of the murdered entrepreneur is confused about what exactly happened, he said to local broadcaster AT5. "My cook called me around 3:50 p.m., that there was a shooting at the neighbors, that there were wounded on the ground, and that one of the two is our neighbor, the owner of the pizzeria. Then I came back and heard on the way that the owner of the pizzeria died", he said. He had greeted Savic only a short time before the shooting. "He sat at the door, drinking a cup of coffee, smoking a cigarette. I said: 'How's it going neighbor?'."

An employee of Westerbos bakery, opposite La Piccola Baracca, was working when she heard four shots. "I'm still shaking", she said to newspaper AD. "Panic broke out on the square, the wife of the man who was shot, started screaming loudly. The police were there quickly, the square was cordoned off, someone immediately followed the perpetrator."

The shooting also left the employees of Vishandel Dick Tol shaken, an employee said to the newspaper. "Suddenly I heard gunshots. I looked outside and saw all kinds of people running towards the restaurant. I found it terrifying, heard people screaming very loudly. Panic really broke out. A number of bystanders came into the shop, the atmosphere was very depressed, people talking about what they have seen."

A suspect was arrested shortly after the shooting. In the immediate aftermath police said there were two suspects in the case, but it was later unclear if a second suspect was indeed on the run.

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