Amsterdam Apple store: Hostage taker dies of his injuries

Police hit the gunman with a car as he chased his escaping hostage on Tuesday night

A man who held a customer at gunpoint at an Amsterdam Apple store has died of the injuries he sustained during his arrest, public prosecutors said on Wednesday.

Police stopped the man, 27, from Amsterdam, by hitting him with a car as he chased after his hostage, who fled from the Apple store on Tuesday night.

"We are investigating the possible motives of the hostage taker and the explosives he carried on his body," police said. They said the explosives were not ready to detonate.

The suspect was armed with a pistol and an automatic rifle, with which he fired at least four shots when police arrived at the central Leidseplein square in front of the store about 6pm local time, Amsterdam police chief Frank Pauw said.

The man, who had a criminal record, demanded a ransom of €200 million ($226m) in cryptocurrencies and safe passage out of the building, Mr Pauw said.

The hostage, described by police as a Bulgarian man, 44, fled from the building at about 10.30pm.

His captor chased after him and police waiting outside rammed him with the car to stop him.

Videos of the incident showed the man being knocked on to the hood of the police car and then falling to the ground.

Police said on Wednesday that the man who was arrested was the only suspect.

During the evening, about 70 people were able to leave the store while the hostage situation was continuing. There were no reports of other injuries.

"We are so incredibly grateful and relieved that our employees and customers in Amsterdam are safe after this terrifying experience," Apple said.

Updated: February 24, 2022, 4:29 AM