The Amsterdam Apple store hostage saga has been brought to an end, as Dutch Police confirmed that the armed suspect has been taken into custody, AFP reports.
The Dutch police announced pn Tuesday evening that the Amsterdam Apple store hostage situation has ended after several hours,
“We managed to arrest the hostage taker by hitting him with a vehicle when he ran out” of the shop, police said on Twitter, citing “violent images” of the scene circulating on social media.
According to the report by AFP, the police in their statement stated that after using a robot to examine the man, lying in the street, “we now know that the suspect had no explosives on his body and the medical personnel are now dealing with him”, said she added.
The hostage-taking lasted several hours, keeping residents around Leidseplein, a place in downtown Amsterdam popular with Amsterdammers and tourists, especially for its many bars and cafes, in suspense, the report by AFP stated.
The square was quickly cordoned off, cafes and theatres closed. People present in the square when the hostage-taking began were asked to take refuge in cafes, under the orders of the police, and journalists were kept at a distance.
Several people were released from the Apple Store during the evening, police said, without specifying the total number of individuals taken hostage. The local media speak of several dozen people.
Police said they are unable to provide information on the condition and identity of the hostage-taker at this time.
Images were filmed by Internet users circulated on social networks, showing in particular an armed man holding another unarmed man and according to the media AT5, several witnesses heard gunshots in the shop earlier in the evening.
The police, who were on site throughout the evening with numerous specialized units, did not report any injuries. But according to Dutch public television NOS, the hostage taker was injured during his arrest and was being taken care of in an ambulance.
According to the AFP, Police had received a report of an armed robbery at 5:40 p.m. (4:40 p.m. GMT), according to NOS. This alleged robbery then turned into a hostage situation.
Freelance journalist Tim Wagemakers, who was in another building overlooking the square, said on Twitter that he saw police officers with guns drawn.
“The square has been emptied, people are locked in bars, doors are closed” and people must “get away from windows”, he said earlier in the evening. The building Tim Wagemakers was in has since been evacuated.