Three killed in shootings at Rotterdam university hospital and home

Police arrest gunman, 32, near hospital's helipad

Dutch police secure the area after a man was arrested following shootings in Rotterdam. Reuters
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A gunman opened fire in a classroom at a Rotterdam university hospital campus and a nearby house, killing three people, Dutch police said on Thursday.

Police Chief Fred Westerbeke said the gunman, 32, a student from Rotterdam, wore a bulletproof vest as he shot and killed a woman, 39, and her 14-year-old daughter.

After setting the woman's house on fire, the gunman went to the Rotterdam Medical Centre university hospital, where he entered a classroom and shot dead a teacher, 43.

Police said they had arrested the man under the hospital’s helipad.

Videos posted online showed police instructing students, some wearing white medical gowns, to run outside as heavily armed arrest teams arrived at the scene.

One video showed a man in handcuffs wearing what appeared to be combat trousers.

Police said there were no indications of a second shooter.

“We have been shocked by a horrible incident,” Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb said. "Shots were fired in two different places in the city. Many people witnessed it.

“Emotions in the city are very high. My condolences go out to the victims.”

Hugo Hillenaar, Rotterdam's chief prosecutor, said: “The suspect was known to law enforcement and in 2021 he was prosecuted and convicted for animal abuse."

Dutch King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima expressed their sympathy on social media.

“Our hearts go out to the family and friends of the victims of the violence this afternoon in Rotterdam,” the royal couple wrote.

“We also think of everybody who lived in fear during these terrible actions.”

The Erasmus Medical Centre appealed on social media for people not to go to the hospital, but later said it was reopening.

There have been scores of small explosions at homes and businesses across Rotterdam this year, which have been blamed on rival drug gangs.

Updated: September 28, 2023, 8:12 PM