Crime reporter Peter R. de Vries dies from injuries in Amsterdam shooting
Dutch journalist Peter R. de Vries died on Thursday in a hospital from injuries sustained in an assassination attempt on July 6. The crime reporter was shot on Lange Leidsedwarsstraat in Amsterdam after appearing on RTL Boulevard, which broadcasts from a studio on Leidseplein.
"Peter fought to the end, but was unable to win the battle. He died surrounded by the people who love him," his family said in a statement released by RTL Nieuws. "Peter has lived by his conviction, 'On bended knee is no way to be free'. We are immensely proud of him and at the same time inconsolable."
His funeral and any memorial service were still being arranged. "This is an indescribably great loss," said RTL Nederland and television producer Fremantle Nederland in a joint statement. "Our thoughts go out first and foremost to Peter's family, his partner and all of his loved ones. And to all who have been touched by his courage, humanity and determined fight for justice. Peter's influence remains stronger than any act of hatred."
De Vries was reportedly shot in the head in broad daylight and at close range. Emergency services personnel quickly converged on the scene, and De Vries was transported in critical condition to an area hospital. His condition was never upgraded, though his friends and family were hopeful and optimistic his situation would improve earlier this week.
Within an hour of the shooting police pulled over a car an hour south of Amsterdam and arrested Delano G., 21, and Kamil Pawel E., 35. Police believe the younger suspect, from Rotterdam with an address in Tiel, is the gunman.
G. allegedly has close ties to the criminal organization allegedly led by Ridouan Taghi, currently on trial in the Marego process, an interconnected series of assassinations and murder-for-hire plots. The prosecution's lead witness in the case, Nabil B., was being advised by De Vries. B.'s brother was murdered soon after it was announced Nabil B. was a cooperating witness. His previous attorney, Derk Wiersum, was also murdered in Amsterdam in 2019.
G.'s family said they believe he was hired to assassinate De Vries by Taghi's criminal organization. Sources told the Telegraaf the contract was worth 150 thousand euros.
E., originally from Poland and living in Maurik, is suspected of being the getaway driver. Polish media said E. was a fugitive avoiding a prison sentence there for robbery. He had been arrested one week before the shooting on an accusation of making a threat with a weapon.
Both men were remanded into pre-trial detention on Friday.