Monday 28 September 2020

Shopping centre shooting: gunman was suicidal

The six people shot dead by gunman Tristan van der Vlis in a busy shopping centre in Alphen aan den Rijn on Saturday were three women aged 91, 68 and 45 and three men aged 80, 49 and 47, police said on Sunday.

Twelve people remain in hospital, seven of them are seriously ill. Two girls aged six and 10 were also caught in the gunfire. The six-year-old remains in hospital, police said.
After spraying the centre with bullets, Van der Vlis turned a gun on himself.

Gun club

Police found three guns at the shopping centre, but have not yet said if they were licenced to the killer. Van der Vlis, who was 24, had licences for five guns and was a member of a shooting club.
In 2003, when he was 17, Van der Vlis had been picked up by the police for an incident involving an air rifle.
Van der Vlis is thought to have carried out Saturday’s attack using a fully automatic weapon. Police experts are examining the guns found in the Ridderhof shopping centre to see if they include a rebuilt semi-automatic weapon, the Telegraaf said.
No motive for the attack, shortly after midday on Saturday, has yet been made public.
Public prosecution office spokeswoman Kitty Nooy told a news conference on Sunday the farewell note found by the gunman’s mother was ‘spiritual in nature’ and referred to digital information, the Volkskrant said. These showed Van der Vlis was ‘clearly suicidal’, she said. He had also undergone psychiatric help in the past.
On Sunday night there will be a memorial service for the victims, which prime minister Mark Rutte and justice minister Ivo Opstelten will attend on behalf of the cabinet.

Thank you for donating to

The team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments. has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.