Parents of Dutch shopping centre killer not liable, court says

The Ridderhof shopping centre in Alphen aan den Rijn

The parents of a man who killed five people in a shopping mall shooting six years ago have been found not to be liable for their son’s action by judges in The Hague.

Victims of the shooting in Alphen aan den Rijn claim Tristan van der Vlis’s parents were aware their son was having serious difficulties but failed to act.

The 24-year-old opened fire in the Ridderhof shopping centre in April 2011. In addition to the fatalities, 17 people were wounded before he turned the gun on himself.

The victims wanted his parents to be held responsible so that they could claim compensation from their insurers. They argue that Van der Vlis’s father should have reported that he had a son living at home with a serious disorder when he applied for a firearms licence in 2007.

The court ruled that the parents could not be blamed because they did not know about their son’s plans.

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