Police officer who killed Amsterdam Apple Store hostage-taker honored by mayor
A Special Interventions Service (DSI) officer who helped end the hostage-taking in the Apple Store in Amsterdam this past February has been honored with the Amsterdam Pin. Mayor Femke Halsema awarded him with the pin during a meeting including several dozen police officers on Thursday. Twenty-three other officers were also honored with the Hero Pin on the same night.
The DSI agent drove into the 27-year-old hostage-taker with a car as the suspect was pursuing an escaped hostage. The suspect died a day later.
"The DSI agent will receive the award for heroic action," a spokesperson for the mayor said on Thursday. "He was able to prevent greater suffering through a crucial intervention."
The Public Prosecution Service (OM) previously announced that it would not prosecute this agent because he acted according to the applicable official instructions. His intervention was justified, according to the OM, and his actions should be judged "as a very adequate and effective intervention against the hostage-taker."
The officers who received the Hero Pin worked in different departments and services, "but all took a step forward when it was necessary, sometimes even at the risk of their own lives," the municipality spokesperson said. The mayor expressed her appreciation for all the officers involved in the hostage situation.
"The police deployment in the hostage situation on Leidseplein was unprecedented," Halsema said. "All officers showed courage and professionalism that evening, so that all hostages were eventually able to leave the building unharmed."
The 27-year-old armed Amsterdammer held a customer hostage for hours on Feb. 22. About 70 people hiding in the building were taken to safety by the police during and after the hostage situation.
The suspect shot at the police and threatened to blow himself up, demanding 200 million euros in crytocurrencies and safe conduct from the property. The situation ended when the hostage managed to run out of the store. The hostage-taker, who was carrying a firearm and wearing a bomb vest, gave chase. The DSI agent, who was standing on Leidseplein with a vehicle, decided to hit the hostage-taker. The Amsterdammer died a day after the collision in the hospital from his injuries.
The Amsterdam Pin is an official municipal award, intended, among other things, for people who have performed a unique achievement for Amsterdam society. The Hero Pin was created two years ago to honor groups or individuals who have committed themselves to others in the city.
Reporting by ANP