The Hague the Netherlands:
A 27-year-old man who held several people hostage in an Apple store on a busy Amsterdam square died in hospital on Wednesday from his injuries.
The man, reportedly a resident of the Dutch capital, entered the Apple Store on Leidseplein armed with two guns, leading to a tense five-hour ordeal on Tuesday.
The stalemate ended when the suspect was hit by a police car while chasing his last hostage desperate for freedom and ran out of the store.
“I can confirm that the man died in hospital tonight,” said OM spokesman Franklin Wattimena.
“We can’t say more, but the investigation continues,” he told AFP.
Police later greeted the hostage who helped end the tense ordeal that gripped the city center like a hero.
Dozens of police officers rushed to the building at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday after the camouflage-wearing suspect entered the store in the popular Leidseplein neighborhood, leading to a chaotic exodus from the building.
The suspect took a Bulgarian man hostage and demanded 200 million euros ($230 million) in cryptocurrency, as well as free passage from the city.
About 70 people fled the building and four people hid in a closet, apparently unknown to the suspect.
– ‘Hero Scroll’ –
Five hours later, the suspect asked for water.
Footage shows the hostage bending over as the water was delivered before running out of the building, closely followed by the suspect.
The suspect was then dispersed by a police vehicle before a robot checked him for explosives as he lay on the road, illuminated with laser sights from police snipers.
“A special forces car reacted very adequately and alertly,” said police chief Frank Paauw during a press conference that night, greeting the hostage’s courage.
“The hostage played a heroic role. In a few split seconds he escaped this hostage situation, otherwise it would have been an even longer night – and nasty night.”
Police later confirmed that the suspect was carrying an explosive device, but that it was not prepared during the incident.
He was taken to hospital “seriously injured”, police said, adding that a “large-scale” investigation had been launched.
“All options are open about a possible motive,” they added, saying at least two houses around the Dutch capital had been searched.
The Amsterdam daily newspaper Het Parool identified the man as Abdel Rahman A., a grocery deliverer who has come into contact with the law before.
However, his motive for besieging the Apple Store remained unclear, according to Dutch media.
– ‘Prevent worse –
The suspect aimed an automatic weapon at officers, Paauw said, when special police units arrived on the scene on Tuesday and closed off the area around the store.
All Apple stores across the Netherlands were closed on Wednesday and the Tuesday hostage site will remain closed on Thursday, the company said.
Leidseplein is popular with tourists and is known for its lively bars and cafes. The area was quickly closed and the restaurants, bars and theaters were closed after the hostage crisis.
The incident happened near the spot where well-known Dutch crime reporter Peter R. de Vries was shot in broad daylight last year.
“Just as the city was about to reopen and return to normal life, violence is rearing its head again in the heart of Amsterdam,” Deputy Mayor Rutger Groot Wassink said late on Tuesday.
Justice Minister Dilan Yesilgoz-Zegerius praised the swift action of the police.
“Their controlled and decisive performance deserves nothing but compliments,” she wrote in a tweet.
“It has prevented worse,” the minister added.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by DailyExpertNews staff and was published from a press release)