Rotterdam shooting suspect accused of 3 counts of murder, arson; Glock handgun found
Fouad L. is suspected of three counts of murder, arson, and illegal weapons possession, the Public Prosecution Service (OM) revealed after his arraignment on Wednesday. L. was arrested at Erasmus Medical Center (MC) on Thursday after allegedly gunning down a lecturer there and a woman who was his neighbor, and one of her children. A handgun which may have been used in the crimes was found at the hospital.
L. was ordered by the magistrate overseeing the case to remain behind bars for at least the next 14 days, the maximum his detention could be extended in the hearing. At the end of that period, a court can either extend his pre-trial detention by an additional 90 days, release him as a suspect in the case who is still subject to various conditions, or clear him as a suspect and release him from custody altogether.
According to the authorities, L. gunned down his neighbors, 39-year-old Marlous and her 14-year-old daughter, Romy, at their home on Heiman Dullaertplein before going to Erasmus MC and killing lecturer and the 43-year-old physician, Dr. Jurgen Damen. He also allegedly set fires at his own home and at the education center of Erasmus MC. SWAT teams arrested the man at the university hospital.
A Glock 19 handgun was found in a stairwell at the medical center where Damen was killed, according to the Telegraaf. "The weapon plays an important role in the investigation into the shootings," a spokesperson for the OM told the newspaper, but without confirming or denying whether it was used by L. "We cannot say anything about this."
The man who found the weapon told the newspaper that the weapon appeared to have a laser sight the gunman used when aiming the weapon. The witness also claimed that he helped guide police to the precise location where L. was apprehended, and said he found a backpack and military-style clothing the assailant had worn before changing his outfit.
Posts by L. on 4chan suggest that he killed the woman and child for reporting him for animal abuse. Other posts on the platform indicated that he was far-right leaning, with extremist views. Damen may have been targeted for his position on the university hospital’s examination board, which had informed L. that he had to undergo a psychological assessment before he could graduate as a doctor. That followed a letter from the OM, warning the university hospital about L.’s previous run-ins with the law, including a conviction for animal abuse.
The investigation is ongoing, and the exact charges against L. will be determined at a later date. “The suspect remains in restricted custody,” the OM said. “He is, therefore, only allowed to have contact with his lawyer.” The authorities can’t reveal any further details at this time, the OM said.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys in the Netherlands often face limitations to the amount of information they can release publicly in case where a criminal suspect is being held in restricted custody.