Dutch juvenile detention escapee shot dead in Belgium after hostage situation
A young Dutch person who was being held at the Den Hey-Acker national juvenile detention facility in Breda was shot and killed in Belgium on Wednesday. The young detainee was working outside the institution, when he took two correctional institutions employees hostage, a spokesperson for the Dutch Custodial Institutions Agency (DJI) confirmed to AD.
The young detainee used a firearm to force the two DJI staff to get into a car and drive to Belgium. Belgian police forced the car to a stop near Sint-Lenaarts, fifteen minutes from the Noord-Brabant border, the Antwerp prosecutor's office said.
Shots were fired by the police in Belgium during his arrest and the youngster died, the DJI confirmed. The DJI employees were physically unharmed. It was a "terrible experience for the staff," the organization confirmed.
Regional broadcaster Omroep Brabant said the fugitive's escape attempt turned into a shooting in the Belgian village at about 4 p.m. on the Mallebaan. A witness told the Gazet van Antwerpen, that the boy shot at Belgian police officers, who then returned fire. "It was all very intense, especially because we were close by. At least thirty shots were fired," an eyewitness told the Gazet van Antwerpen.
Another witness told the newspaper that the boy drove at a high rate of speed on sidewalks and on the wrong side of the road. "We just managed to avoid him," the witness said.
A spokesperson for the Antwerp prosecutor's office also confirmed "the shooting in Sint-Lenaarts in which someone died." He said the Belgian police were first alerted by the Dutch authorities, and then they set up a roadblock in the village, which falls under the municipality of Brecht. He could not provide details about the identity of the deceased, or the shooting itself. The prosecutor's office would not confirm witness statements about a violent chase to the roadblock, or that many shots were fired in the ensuing gun battle.
The DJI said it is investigating how the youngster obtained a weapon.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times