Dutch authorities believe they have identified the man responsible for killing at least three people on a tram during what is being called a “terrorist-motivated” attack in Utrecht, Netherlands.
The police tweeted a photo of 37-year-old suspect Gökmen Tanis, who is Turkish-born, and said to be a person of interest in the attack.
As Daily Mail reports, the tram’s closed-circuit television camera captured the suspect moments before the attack.
From Daily Mail:
The gunman, who may not have been acting alone, fled the scene, reportedly in a red Renault Clio compact sedan, which has since been found abandoned in Utrecht.
The photograph was released as heavily armed police gathered in front of an apartment block some 200 yards from the scene the shooting, where the suspected gunman is believed to be holed up. Police said they were searching for the shooter ‘with all possible means.’
Shortly after 12.30pm local time, the Dutch government raised the terrorism threat level to the highest possible in the province of Utrecht, and local residents in one of the Netherlands’ biggest cities have been urged to stay indoors in case of further incidents.
Dutch authorities set the threat level to a 5, its highest possible, in the Utrecht province. According to Dutch counter-terrorism agency Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg, “The culprit is still on the run. A terror motive cannot be excluded.”
Heavily armed police officials are continuing to look for the suspect as local Utrecht University has been put on lockdown. The Daily Mail reports that airports and “vital buildings” have been cautioned to be on “extra alert” and increase their own security at this time.
Police spokesman Bernhard Jens said no one had been detained yet in the shooting, and one possible ‘explanation is that the person fled by car.’
He did not rule out the possibility that more than one shooter was involved in the attack.
‘We want to try to catch the person responsible as soon as possible,’ Jens said.
The Associated Press adds:
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte says that the Netherlands has been hit by an attack in Utrecht and that terrorism isn’t excluded, after one person was killed in a tram shooting along with an unknown number of wounded.
Rutte says that “our nation was hit by an attack in Utrecht. It is clear there were shots on tram passengers in Utrecht, that there are wounded,” without specifying how many. He said that “a terror motive is not excluded.”
Rutte said that throughout the nation, “there is a mix of disbelief and disgust.”
He said “if it is terror attack then we have only one answer: our nation, democracy must be stronger that fanaticism and violence.”