Three people have been killed and nine others seriously injured in a shooting in the central Dutch city of Utrecht on Monday morning, police said.
The Utrecht police said a square at a tram station outside the city centre had been cordoned off as emergency services were at the scene. Reports claim a man in a tram on the way to Utrecht CS pulled out a weapon and shot several people.
Counter-terrorism police are at the scene and officers have said they are considering the possibility of a ‘terrorist motive’. Local reports in the Netherlands claim that there may have been shootings in other places.
The shooter is believed to have fled in a red car, however dumped the vehicle a short while later. A manhunt is now underway. ‘Shooting incident… Several injured people reported. Assistance started,’ the Utrecht police Twitter account said. ‘It is a shooting incident in a tram. Several trauma helicopters have been deployed to provide help.’
Officers urged the public to stay away to allow first responders ‘to do their work’. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said he was ‘deeply concerned’ about the incident. The Dutch government raised the terrorism threat level to the highest possible this morning.
The National Anti-Terrorism Coordinator said it had raised alert level as the suspected shooter was still at large. Security was increased at schools, mosques and transportation hubs after the shooting.