Two killed, teen critically injured in Rotterdam shootings; Suspect a med student
This story will be updated
Two adults were killed, and a teenager was critically injured in separate, but related shooting incidents in Rotterdam on Thursday. The deceased victims were identified as a 46-year-old man and a 39-year-old woman, while her 14-year-old daughter was badly wounded, authorities said at a press conference at City Hall hours after the incidents.
Police apprehended a 32-year-old man from Rotterdam who is a student at the Erasmus Medical Center, where one of the victims was shot dead. The suspect was also believed to be responsible for the shooting in a home on Heiman Dullaertplein minutes earlier. He is also suspected of setting that home on fire, and also a separate part of the hospital, confirmed Rotterdam District Police Chief Fred Westerbeke.
The dead woman was found inside the home, as well as her injured daughter. The incident in the home in the Delfshaven district was first reported around 2:10 p.m. The suspect then allegedly traveled 1.5 kilometers to the Erasmus Medical Center, where he shot and killed the male victim about ten minutes later. The man was teaching in a classroom on the campus at the time.
"He pointed his weapon at a 46-year-old man, who was employed as a teacher at the EMC. Unfortunately, this man died from his injuries," said Hugo Hillenaar, the head of Rotterdam's district office of the Public Prosecution Service. "We cannot say anything at this time about the motive for this terrible act. The investigation is still ongoing." He added that the police investigation is being handled "meticulously."
Police said it was not yet clear if the teacher and the student knew each other, or in what capacity they are connected. Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb said an investigation into their relationship was ongoing, including whether the teacher had ever failed the student, or admonished him in some way. "That will have to be investigated very carefully, but we will soon find out," Hillenaar stated.
The alleged gunman was apprehended before 4:30 p.m. under the hospital's helipad. Before he was taken into custody, he had set a fire in the medical center, and he may have walked through the children's hospital at the complex.
The suspect also lives near the Heiman Dullaertplein home, but his relationship to those victims was also unknown. The suspect does have a criminal record, Hillenaar confirmed. He was convicted of animal abuse charges in 2021.
It took another two hours after the man's arrest for police to sweep through the large medical complex to find anyone who was hiding from the perpetrator, or any other possible victims. The buildings were reopened to the public at about 7 p.m.