Three arrests made in shooting of reporter; Journalist fighting for his life
Police in Amsterdam confirmed that three people were arrested in connection with the shooting of 64-year-old Peter R. de Vries. One of those is believed to be the person who gunned down the crime reporter on Lange Leidsedwarstraat shortly after he recorded a segment for television program RTL Boulevard.
De Vries was believed to be shot in the head. His condition was critical when he was transported to the hospital. "All we can say right now is that he is fighting for his life," said Amsterdam Mayor Femke Halsema.
"We immediately started a major investigation and, based on witness statements, we gained insight into the possible getaway car," said Frank Paauw, the Chief of Police for Amsterdam. "That getaway car was stopped on the A4 and two suspects were also arrested. Among them is the gunman. The third suspect was arrested at another location in Amsterdam. His role is still under investigation."
That third suspect was taken into custody in Amsterdam-Oost based on his physical description. A helicopter hovered over the neighborhood for about an hour not long after the 7:30 p.m. shooting. It was still unclear if he was involved.
"The incident took place after the recordings of RTL Boulevard . There are currently no indications that the safety surrounding the program is in danger," he said. He would not discuss other security situations, like the heavy police presence at the home of Peter Schouten, or heavily armed officers at VU Medical Center, where De Vries was believed to be hospitalized.
"Today, justice in our country seems difficult to find. A brutal, cowardly crime has been committed," Halsema said. She called De Vries a hero, who helps people find justice and closure.
"He stands up for people in need, for the parents of a murdered child or people who have been wrongly convicted," she said. "He keeps the investigative authorities sharp and thus the rule of law on track."
The street where De Vries was shot, near the intersection with Leidsestraat, was very busy at the time of the shooting. Victim support services will be provided to those who need help, said Halsema.