AMSTERDAM, Feb 22 – Dutch police said on Tuesday they had sent special units to a central square in Amsterdam because a man with a gun had taken one or more people hostage at an Apple store there.
Several video clips on obtained by Scarcity appeared to show a person being held in the store at gunpoint and police running the gunman down.
“There is a person with a firearm in the store … police forces are there with many units and specialist units at the scene to get the situation under control,” Amsterdam police tweeted. We are restricting information about the situation in the Apple Store … in order not to upset our investigation and efforts there,” they said. They later confirmed the situation is a hostage-taking, without specifying how many hostages there were.
Police cleared the square and asked neighbors to remain inside and not come outside to watch. The Apple store is located at one end of the upscale Leidseplein, a square at the south side of Amsterdam’s centre.
The Netherlands’ biggest city saw a spate of four armed robberies of mobile phone stores in 2021, prompting some stores to remove most of their phone supplies, which were being targeted. None of the robberies had been in the city centre however. Gun violence is not uncommon in the Netherlands, but hostage takings are extremely rare. In 2015 a man with a gun broke into a TV studio demanding screen time. No one was injured and the man was later convicted of hostage taking.
A hostage was handcuffed in an Apple store in Amsterdam before managing to escape… and leading his captor outside where police ran him over.
Pictures from last night’s dramatic incident show the hostage cuffed with his hands behind his back sat opposite a gunman, thought to be a 27-year-old Dutch man, pointing a firearm in his direction.
An earlier clip showed the captive in a headlock with a gun pointed at his head inside the shop. The hostage-taker could be seen waving around the weapon as he gestured towards customers sat in a restaurant across the street. Dutch media had earlier today reported the hostage was British but police later confirmed he was a 44-year-old man from Bulgaria.
The hostage managed to escape the ordeal by fleeing the gunman who then chased him down the street before being hit by a police car in Leidseplein – a square in the centre of the Dutch capital.
The incident, which started around 5:40pm, lasted nearly five hours and involved dozens of hostages. ‘Dozens’ of hostages left the building by 9:15pm and officers declared the incident over around 10pm. Amsterdam police said: ‘We managed to stop the hostage-taker by hitting him as he ran out. Violent images of that collision can be seen.
‘We now know that the suspect had no explosives on his body and medical personnel are now taking care of him.’
The force said at 7pm that a ‘hostage situation’ is ongoing, before confirming around an hour later that ‘several people have been able to leave