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Flags half mast as the investigation into Utrecht tram shooting continues

THE NETHERLANDS. Three people are in custody in the investigation into Monday’s tram shooting in Utrecht which left three people dead and five people injured, three seriously.

A third person was arrested overnight and despite reports that all but the main suspect have been released, police said all three remain in custody and are being treated as suspects.

Flags on government buildings are hanging at half mast on Tuesday, as a sign of respect to the victims and people have begun placing flowers at the location of the shooting on 24 Oktoberplein. Although the victims have not yet been formally identified, one of the dead is said to be a 19-year-old woman, Roos Verschuur,  who worked in a branch of Delifrance. Another was named as Rinke Terpstra, a father of two who trained youth teams at a local football club.

More information has also emerged about the shooter, Gökmen Tanis, who is described by the AD as ‘an unstable, cocaine ridden, drugs dealer’ and was arrested early on Monday evening. He was in court two weeks ago on rape charges and his victim told the AD Tadis is ‘a psychopath, not a terrorist’. The big Dutch newspapers all have the shooting on their front pages and none call it a terrorist incident, although the Telegraaf speaks of the ‘terrorist alarm’ in Utrecht, when the threat level was temporarily raised from four to five.

Some newspapers say that Tanis’ brother is known to the security services and may have links to terror groups. This could explain why the shooting is being seen as a potential terrorist attack, broadcaster NOS said. The authorities hope to have more clarity about the motive for the shooting later on Tuesday. Prime minister Mark Rutte is meeting the justice and home affairs ministers at 9am.

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