Erasmus MC lecturer killed in Rotterdam shootings described as amiable, involved GP
The victim of the fatal shooting at Erasmus MC in Rotterdam on Thursday is 43-year-old Jurgen Damen, a general practitioner in the city and a lecturer at the university hospital. He is survived by a wife and daughter. Colleagues at his general practice in the Katendrecht district are devastated, AD reports. The police arrested 32-year-old medical student Faoud L. for killing Damen at Erasmus MC, as well as a mother and daughter on Heiman Dullaertplein.
Little is known about the other two victims in Thursday’s shootings, a 39-year-old woman and her 14-year-old daughter. They lived on Heiman Dullaertplein and were the suspect’s neighbors. Locals told the newspaper that the 14-year-old girl had a twin sister.
Witnesses told AD that a young girl, supported by other people, walked up to the scene shortly after the shooting. She was in tears. She collapsed when she saw which house was involved, and police officers shot to her aid. “That is one of the victim’s daughters,” a local told AD. “It’s her twin sister and mother.”
The slain woman’s name was Marlous, a friend told AD. “We both coincidentally moved from Bergen op Zoom to Rotterdam, and our children are friends,” the friend said. “My daughter just heard from her friend that her mother has died.”
Damen started as a GP in Rotterdam in 2010. For the past five years, he worked at the Katendrecht Health Center, which falls under the Zonboog Foundation, in Rotterdam-Zuid. Since 2013, he also worked at Erasmus MC as an assistant professor and head of the Clinical Skills Practicum.
The Zonboog Foundation informed all of Damen’s close colleagues. “The impact is massive,” foundation director Rene Baljon told AD. “For his family, colleagues, but also his patients. Urgen was an amiable and committed general practitioner. He was also a lecturer. Many people in Rotterdam knew him. It is also a shock to GP care across the region. We don’t know the perpetrator’s motive, but this is horrible.”
The health center will remain closed for the time being. Patients with an urgent need for a doctor will be referred to another Zonboog practice. “Everyone is willing to help to care for patients,” said Baljon. “We will inform all patients.” The foundation will also get the needed help and support for Damen’s colleagues.
Erasmus MC also arranged victim support for employees, patients, and visitors. “The events have a major impact on our employees, visitors, and patients,” the Sophia Children’s Hospital, part of Erasmus MC, said on Instagram. “Not only the shooting itself, but also the events that followed. Employees, visitors, and patients are extremely shocked by the SWAT teams’ raid, the fire in the Education Center, and the evacuation of various buildings.”
The university hospital will hold a meeting for students on Friday. All classes have been canceled.