The police can be held liable for damages in connection with the 2011 Alphen aan den Rijn supermarket shooting, in which five people were killed, appeal court judges in The Hague said on Tuesday.
The case was taken to court by relatives of some of the victims, who say the police were wrong to give a gun licence to the killer because he had known psychiatric problems.
Tristan van der Vlis, who was 24, 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 standard refusal of a [gun] licence if there are concerns it may be abused is there to protect the public,’ the court said in its ruling. ‘The court finds that the police may be held accountable.’
The amount of damages still has to be determined.
Several years ago, a number of Van der Vlis’ victims attempted to have his family held liable for failing to report that their son had psychiatric issues.
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