Woman, cop killed in apparent murder-suicide

Dutch police crime scene tape
Dutch police crime scene tapePhoto: Politie

A 40-year-old woman was shot dead and a police officer was gravely wounded in a violent incident in an Utrecht town on Thursday. Authorities said they suspected the man was responsible for a murder-suicide inside the home.

An ambulance was first dispatched to Everdingen in Vijfheerenlanden at about 12:30 p.m., but police were reportedly in a standoff at the home on Prins Bernhardstraat for about two hours before raiding the property. A trauma team was dispatched by helicopter to the scene at about 1:50 p.m., and another ambulance was sent to the village fifteen minutes later.

Inside they found the woman dead, and the wounded 43-year-old man. “He died of his injuries en route to the hospital,” police said. “There are strong indications that he first killed the woman and then himself.”

The man, reportedly named René, worked for a national division of the police, authorities confirmed. His apparent murder victim, Willeke, was very happy in her youth and working as a hairdresser, residents told newspaper AD. Several said they were shocked by the shooting though they knew the couple was having problems.

Willeke grew up nearby in Ameide, then grew in her career in Vianen before moving to Amersfoort to manage a hair stylist location, the AD said. She took over ownership of a hair salon in Vianen five years ago, but it ran into trouble last year, according to AD.

“She was a happy girl,” one of Willeke’s high school friends said. “I had not spoken to her in some time and I lost track of her,” she remarked. “I knew something was wrong, but this... no.”

Another agreed she was happy, but said, “I heard that she had changed in recent years. I do not know if it had to do with her grand desire to have children, which went unfulfilled.”

“Her sister still lives here,” one neighbor said forlornly. “Now her sister is dead. It is hard to believe.”

A criminal and internal investigation into the case was expected to determine what exactly happened at the home, police said.