UTRECHT, NETHERLANDS — A man is now in custody following a shooting spree initially believed to be an intended terrorist attack that had the entire city placed in lockdown, Reuters reports.
As it has been revealed some time after the event, the attack was not intended as a terroristic event — just a family fight that escalated far beyond what its already deadly potential could have predicted.
The man went after a family member, then gunned down anyone trying to help them.
Utrecht police announced the suspect, 37-year-old Gokmen Tanis, had been taken into custody.Reuters
The city was put into lockdown after the shooting, shortly after the morning rush hour, which authorities initially said was an apparent terrorist attack. Police conducted raids in several locations.
But hours after the shooting, the gunman’s motive remained unclear. A prosecutor said it could be for “family reasons” and Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency, quoting relatives of the gunman, said he had fired at a relative on the tram and had then shot at others who tried to help her.
Helicopters hovered over the usually quiet medieval town.
Authorities had raised the terrorism threat in Utrecht province to its highest level, schools were told to shut their doors and paramilitary police increased security at airports, other vital infrastructure and at mosques.
That may not be a terrorist attack, but the damage done to the city and community is every bit as real.
For a day, families were seperated, locked down, and terrified. Helicopters swarmed and police mustered to deal with whatever threat may materialize.
And the citizens were largely dependent on these people wholly. Gun laws in the Netherlands are horrendous.
As we pray for the families affected, we can only hope that their government lets these citizens express the freedoms they so richly deserve.
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