A woman, her teenage daughter and a man were killed on Thursday after a gunman opened fire at a house and a prominent medical school in the Dutch port city of Rotterdam, an unusual outburst of gun violence in the city that the police chief called a “black day.”
The Rotterdam police chief, Fred Westerbeke, said at a news conference on Thursday evening local time that a 39-year-old woman and a male teacher at Erasmus Medical Center had been killed. Later, the Rotterdam police announced that the woman’s 14-year-old daughter had died from her injuries. They gave the age of the teacher as 43, correcting earlier statements that gave it as 46. None of the victims were immediately identified.
The Rotterdam police arrested a 32-year-old Erasmus student as a suspect. He was carrying a weapon and wearing a bulletproof vest, the authorities said. He was also not identified. The police said they believed the shooter had acted alone.
Much remained unclear, including a motive and the relationship between the victims and the suspect, who lived on the same street as the woman and her daughter, according to Dutch news media.
The police said they had received an initial report of gunfire at 2:25 p.m. local time on Thursday. The gunman started a fire at the home, then went to the medical school, where he shot the teacher in class, the police said. The gunman then made his way through other parts of the hospital and started a fire there, the police said.
Images on social media showed people, some wearing medical gowns, rushing from the building.
In their initial alert, the police warned on the social media platform X, formerly Twitter, that a suspect had been seen wearing combat clothes, carrying a backpack and headphones, and using a handgun. Erasmus Medical Center also alerted people not to go to the facility.
The suspect was arrested as he came out of a hospital building, the police said.
The authorities said they had informed relatives of the shooting victims.
Gun violence is unusual in the Netherlands, but in 2019 the country was shaken by a shooting on a tram in the city of Utrecht that left at least three people dead and seven others wounded.
This year, Rotterdam has also been rocked by small explosions at homes and businesses blamed on rival gangs.