Amsterdam police have arrested five young men in connection with the murder of 24-year-old Bas van Wijk, shot dead on a busy city beach after apparently trying to stop a gang take a friend’s watch.
All five come from Amsterdam but two of the men, aged 26 and 20, were arrested in Zaandam. The other three, aged 18, 19 and 20, were picked up at various locations in the Dutch capital.
Van Wijk, from Badhoevedorp, was with friends at the De Oeverlanden park when the shooting took place. The park was crowded with friends and families seeking water and shade because of the heatwave, and several children witnessed the incident.
An acquaintance of the victim told the Telegraaf that a group of men had tried to take the Rolex watch belonging to one of his friends when he was shot. ‘He was slaughtered, with multiple bullets,’ he said. ‘All for a bloody watch.’
The police have appealed for anyone who took photos and films at the beach at around 4.25 on Saturday to come forward but have not said any more about the shooting.
Van Wijk was taken to hospital after the shooting but died later from his injuries.
Meanwhile, the young man’s family has organised a silent march in his honour on Friday evening, and said everyone who wants to take part is welcome. Silent processions have become an increasingly common way of expressing support and grief in the wake of such killings in the Netherlands.
The family have also made it clear that the march should not be politicised and they do not want to be used to make political points, news agency ANP reported.
Several far right campaigners have tweeted about the killing and a demonstration has been organised on Dam square in central Amsterdam on Sunday under the slogan #alllivesmatter.
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