Man who shot dead couple had a gun licence, prosecutor says


The 50-year-old man who shot dead a couple in the Drenthe village of Weiteveen earlier this week used multiple weapons and their young son was among those to witness the violence, the public prosecution department said on Friday following a remand hearing.

The man, named as Richard K by the AD, had a gun licence and police are now investigating which weapons he owned legally and which he used in the shooting, the department said in a statement.

The woman, 44, was shot dead from close range, and the man, who was 38 and of Polish origin, was “shot, stabbed and beaten”, the AD said. The suspect used excessive violence and had planned the killings, according to the prosecution statement.

Video footage of the suspect after the murders with bloody hands circulated on social media saying that “something terrible had happened”.

There was a long-running conflict between the man and his victims with both sides claiming they had been wronged by the other, the department said. The dispute centred on the suspects’ former home which the couple bought around a year ago.

In the days after the killing, several locals gave interviews to Dutch media saying that they did not blame the killer for his acts, and even that he was justified in doing so. Another described the couple who died, named as Sam and Ineke by the AD as “terrible people”.

The public prosecutor made an oblique reference to the reactions, saying that it wanted to “emphasise that two people have been killed, leaving young children and other family members behind.”

“This has had a major impact on them and the department would ask people to show respect to the interest and feelings of relatives and others who were involved.” 

The suspect was remanded in custody for 14 days and will also undergo a psychiatric check at the Pieter Baan Centrum.

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