Apple Store hostages: Suspect seriously wounded; Demanded €200 million ransom
The man suspected of holding hostages at the Apple Store in Amsterdam was critically injured when he was apprehended. The suspect, a 27-year-old from Amsterdam, ran out of the store chasing after a hostage who escaped. He was then struck hard by an unmarked police vehicle on the street.
It is not known whether the suspect was being treated for mental health complaints. During a press conference early Wednesday morning, authorities announced they were searching two homes as part of their investigation. One is the suspect's home and the other is a home where he often stayed. Police believe the suspect has a criminal record in connection with violations of the Weapons and Ammunition Act.
The suspect, who is said to have demanded 200 million euros in cryptocurrencies, contacted the police himself. The man allegedly threatened to blow himself up. When the police arrived at the scene on Leidseplein at the beginning of the evening, officers were immediately fired upon with an automatic weapon, said Frank Paauw, the Amsterdam police chief, during a press conference.
When the suspect was near the front door of the store at about 5:40 p.m., he grabbed another man close to him. Video footage showed him being held tightly as the suspect waved a weapon during the situation. Many people trapped in the building managed to escape about three hours later.
The hostage who was held for hours by the at gunpoint was likely an Apple Store customer. Police believe he is not from the Netherlands, and is possibly British.
He managed to run out of the Apple Store when a package was delivered to the door. When the hostage-taker went after him, he was hit by a police car. The man rolled over the hood and ended up on the street. Video footage from the seen showed that he was struck very hard, and then was motionless on the street.
A robot then searched his body for any explosives. After that, medics rushed in to treat the wounded man. The suspect was taken to an area hospital with serious injuries.
That was in the fifth hour of the suspect’s standoff with police. When the ordeal came to an end, police found more people inside the Apple Store. Dozens of people were then able to be brought to safety by the police, including four people who were found hiding in a closet.
Deputy Mayor of Amsterdam Rutger Groot Wassink called it "a shocking event" during the press conference. He praised the actions of the police and the interventions made.
Because the suspect was eventually violently overpowered by the police, the National Criminal Investigation Department has launched an investigation into the use of force in the apprehension. The driver of the vehicle is not currently believed to be a suspect, but is considered a witness.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times