Rotterdam shootings suspect may have targeted Erasmus MC exam board member
Fouad L., the 32-year-old medical student suspected of three fatal shootings in Rotterdam on Thursday, may have been targeting an examination committee member at Erasmus MC. He faced an initial hearing in front of a magistrate on Friday, who determined the arrest was properly handled, the Public Prosecution Service said. He will be arraigned early next week, at which point the magistrate can determine whether to extend his pre-trial detention, a spokesperson for the Rotterdam police told NL Times on Friday.
The arrest of the suspect has been reviewed by the examining magistrate. He determined that the arrest was lawful. The arraignment will take place next week. We will communicate the outcome via this channel after the victims and relatives have been informed. 1/2
L. was arrested on Thursday afternoon, shortly after the two shooting incidents. He allegedly gunned down and killed his 39-year-old neighbor, her 14-year-old daughter on Heiman Dullaertplein, and a 43-year-old lecturer at Erasmus MC.
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.
Stefan Sleijfer, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Erasmus MC, released a statement on Friday, revealing that Fouad L. had targeted a member of the examination committee. “We do not know the motive of the perpetrator, and the relationship with Jurgen is unclear. However, we did receive indications that the perpetrator may have had a grievance against the examination committee. One of the members at risk was safely taken into police custody,” he stated.
Sleijfer confirmed that while Fouad L. had fulfilled all formal criteria to become a doctor, the examination committee hesitated to grant him a diploma. This hesitation was due to a letter from the Public Prosecution Service (OM), advising against allowing Fouad L. to practice as a doctor due to a prior conviction for animal abuse.
The examination committee set a condition for the diploma, requiring the student to undergo a psychological evaluation and receive an endorsement from the psychologist regarding his suitability to practice medicine. “The student did not object to this condition. However, it was not met. There was no confirmation from a psychologist, and at this time, it is unknown if there was any contact with a psychologist,” Sleijfer said.
“Apart from the letter, we did not receive any other signals that the perpetrator was dangerous or should be denied access to Erasmus MC,” he added.
On Thursday, the police indicated that the suspect was in restricted custody, and was only allowed to communicate with his legal representation.