Two shootings spoil Rotterdam’s summer carnival procession

The area where the shooting took place. Photo: ANP MediaTV

Rotterdam police have arrested three people in connection with a shooting incident during the port city’s carnival celebrations on Saturday.

One of the men was shot by police after he opened fire on someone else after the main procession was over. Both he and his victim were arrested and a third suspect was later picked up a short distance away. The incident took place on the Coolsingel in the city centre.

A woman, who witnessed the shooting was also injured when she tried to escape in the panic. The gun was found later between the tram rails.

Earlier in the day there had been another incident when a man reportedly fired a gun several times. No one was injured and as yet there have been no arrests.
Police said there does not appear to be a link between the two incidents.

The carnival procession’s organisers cancelled remaining events following the shooting, citing public safety concerns, and urged everyone to go home. However, later in the evening one person was hospitalised after a stabbing in the nearby Witte de Withstraat.

Rotterdam’s biggest political party, Leefbare Rotterdam, on Sunday called for the summer carnival to be scrapped, saying it “always ends in bullets”.

The local VVD has also asked city officials to draw up a list of violent incidents during earlier carnivals. “The summer carnival is known for being a fun event but also for violence. I want to know why it is allowed to continue,” local VVD leader Pascal Lansink-Bastemeijer said on Twitter.

Acting mayor Tim Versnel said in a statement that his thoughts went out to everyone who had witnessed the trouble. “The police looking into what happened and investigating,” he said. “Questions about the future of the carnival are understandable, but will be dealt with after that.”

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