Suspect arrested for shooting, carjacking at Rotterdam shopping center

Police at the scene of a shooting on Kreefstraat in Rotterdam, 10 Sept 2019
Police at the scene of a shooting on Kreefstraat in Rotterdam, 10 Sept 2019Photo: Politie Rotterdam/Twitter

A 31-year-old Rotterdammer was arrested on Tuesday in connection with a terrifying shooting and carjacking near the city’s Alexandrium shopping center. There were no injuries in the shooting, which followed a wild rush hour car chase between a stolen, silver BMW and a black Range Rover.

The events took place on September 10 starting at around 9:30 a.m. when someone in the BMW fired shots at the Range Rover as the vehicles pulled alongside each other on Berlagestraat. The Range Rover sped off, and the BMW turned around and started a pursuit, as seen in security camera images from that day.

The chase continued for several minutes, both drivers weaving through traffic and cutting off several other vehicles. The Range Rover kept some distance, and both driver and passenger bolted out of the SUV as it pulled up on Kreefstraat at Poolsterplein, in front of the shopping center.

The two ran past pedestrians in the square as the silver BMW arrived. Police said several rounds of automatic gunfire came from the BMW, striking the Range Rover. Luckily, nobody was struck by stray bullets. Dozens of bystanders were near the crosswalk or the square where the shooting happened.

Police said there were two suspects involved, a man around 30 years of age standing 1.8-meters with dark skin and a muscular build, and a woman in her twenties or thirties with tanned skin and blond hair, possibly a wig, worn in a ponytail.

The suspects then fled in the BMW, ditching it a short distance away. They then are accused of stealing a woman’s Audi A6 in a carjacking at Hoofdweg and Vlierbaan. The car was found in northern Rotterdam around 6 p.m. Another stolen BMW was found torched about a kilometer from there a day later in a case which might be related, police said.

On Wednesday, police said the 31-year-old they arrested is suspected of involvement in both the shooting and the carjacking. Authorities said they still need the public’s help in solving the crime, and have asked for witnesses or anyone with knowledge to contact them on- or off the record.