A gunman entered a shopping mall in the Netherlands and at least killed six people and wounded a dozen more before taking his own life.
The mass murder occurred at the crowded Ridderhof shopping center in Alphen aan den Rijn, a town of about 70,000 people, located 15 miles southwest of Amsterdam.
According to reports, the killer fired an automatic weapon at shoppers and turned the gun on himself. He has not been officially identified yet and no motive is known.
However, a Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reported that he was a 24-year-old resident of Alphen aan den Rijn who lived with his parents in an apartment near the mall.
Witnesses described the man to Dutch media as being about 25 years old with long blonde hair. He wore a leather jacket and camouflage pattern trousers.
A shopkeeper in the Ridderhof centre told Dutch broadcaster NOS: There was a panic in the mall, a lot of people running. I see the attacker coming, walking, and I go inside the store... and I see him going by with a big machine gun.
Police stated the gunman appeared to fire at random and that he acted alone.
Mayor Bas Eenhoorn described the tragedy as unprecedented.”
It's hardly credible that our town could experience such slaughter, and on a day as beautiful as this, he said.
However, this is not the first such mass shooting in the area. On April 2, two people were killed in a shooting in the same district of the town.
A witness told BBC: It's weird that something like this has happened in this neighborhood. Usually nothing ever happens here. But this is the second shooting in two weeks.”