After the horrific mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand, last week, a breaking story is unfolding in Utrecht, Holland, where a gunman is reported to have opened fire on a tram.
A shooting occurred on the #24oktoberplein in #Utrecht. The incident has been reported at 10.45 hour. Multiple people have been injured. The surrounding area has been cordoned off and we are investigating the matter.
— Politie Utrecht (@PolitieUtrecht) March 18, 2019
Second public shooting incident in less than a week
Utrecht is on lockdown after reports that a man opened fire on a tram this morning. Details of the incident are sparse at the moment, but one person is reported to have been killed and a number of injuries have been reported.
Utrecht police say that the area has been cordoned off and that there is a “possible terrorist motive” behind the incident.
One reported fatality. Gunman believed to be one the run
Gunman still at large in Utrecht, trauma helicopters at the scene – remember Run, Hide, Tell…. pic.twitter.com/8N0kq92Qw4
— Philip Ingram MBE (@PhilipIngMBE) March 18, 2019
Unconfirmed reports say that the gunman was not apprehended by the police and that he is potentially still at large.
An anti-terrorism team and a number of police helicopters have been dispatched to the scene.
The Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, said he was “deeply concerned” by news of the incident and that crisis talks were to be held in response to the incident. Dutch radio said security had been increased at the seat of the government in The Hague.
The transport system in Utrecht has been shut down in response to the attack.
Copycat or revenge attack?
After the shocking events that took place in Christchurch last week, where more than 50 people killed were, authorities around the world are on high-alert for copycat or revenge attacks.
With so few details yet to emerge from this incident in Utrecht, it remains to be seen what the motive is behind this latest incident.
After a number of deadly attacks in Germany, France, and the U.K. in recent years, the immediate threat of terrorism seemed to have abated from the streets of the West in the last year or so. The incidents of the last week are hopefully not a sign that a new wave of extremist-related attacks is set to return.