Latest: The suspect in the deadly tram shooting in Utrecht which left three people dead has been detained, Dutch police have said.
At the end of a news conference on Monday evening, police chief Rob van Bree told reporters: “I just heard that the suspect we were hunting has been arrested.”
Five people were also injured in the incident and authorities immediately raised the terror alert for the area to the highest level.
A few hours after the shooting, Utrecht police released a photo of a 37-year-old Turkish-born man they identified as Gokmen Tanis and said he was “associated with the incident”.
Utrecht Mayor Jan van Zanen said three people were killed and police put the number of wounded at five.
“We cannot exclude, even stronger, we assume a terror motive. Likely there is one attacker, but there could be more,” Mr van Zanen said.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said that “a terror motive is not excluded” and that the attack was met throughout the country with “a mix of disbelief and disgust”.
“If it is a terror attack, then we have only one answer: Our nation, democracy, must be stronger that fanaticism and violence,” he added.
The shooting took place at a busy junction in a residential area. Police erected a white tent over an area where a body appeared to be lying next to the tram.
Anti-terror officers gathered in front of a block of flats close to the scene. A dog wearing a vest with a camera mounted on it was also seen outside the building.
Police spokesman Bernhard Jens said one person might have fled by car and he did not rule out the possibility that more than one assailant was involved.
The country’s anti-terror co-ordinator Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg raised the threat alert to its highest level, five, around Utrecht, a city of nearly 350,000.
Political parties halted campaigning ahead of provincial elections scheduled for Wednesday that will also determine the make-up of Parliament’s upper house.- Press Association
By Denise O’Donoghue
Update 2pm: The Mayor of Utrecht says three people have died following a shooting on a tram in the city.
A further nine people were injured, with three in a serious condition.
In the case of the shooting at the #24oktoberplein in Utrecht the police confirms 3 death and 9 injured.— Politie Utrecht (@PolitieUtrecht) March 18, 2019
A search is underway for suspected gunman Gökman Tanis, 37, who was born in Turkey.
Burgemeester Jan van Zanen reageert op het schietincident eerder vandaag pic.twitter.com/PzI6t2tPtX— Gemeente Utrecht (@GemeenteUtrecht) March 18, 2019
Dutch police said a Red Renault Clio had been hijacked shortly before the shooting, and was later found further south in the city.
They asked for anyone with information about the car to get in touch.
Update 1.23pm: Police in the Netherlands shared a photo of the man they are searching for in connection with a shooting in Utrecht.
A search is underway for 37-year-old Gökmen Tanis, who was born in Turkey.
Utrecht police have warned the public not to approach Tanis if they see him, but to contact emergency services.
One person has died and there were multiple injuries following the shooting on a tram in the city this morning.
The investigation into the Utrecht shooting is considering the possibility of a "terrorist motive".
Update 11.43am: One person has died and there are multiple injuries in the shooting on a tram in Utrecht, Dutch police have said.
Authorities immediately raised the terror alert for the area to the maximum level and said they are considering the possibility of a “terrorist motive” in the attack.
Dutch military police went on extra alert at Dutch airports and at key buildings in the country as the Utrecht manhunt took place.
The country’s anti-terror co-ordinator raised the threat alert to its highest level around Utrecht. Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg said the “threat level has gone to 5, exclusively for the Utrecht province”.
Heavily-armed police have massed outside a building near the site of the tram shooting.
Beweging. Politiemannen rennen richting de Trumanlaan. Pers wordt op afstand gehouden.— Yelle Tieleman (@YelleTieleman) March 18, 2019
The Municipality of Utrecht said police are still looking for the offender and further shootings cannot be ruled out.
Nav het schietincident van het 24 Oktoberplein adviseert de gemeente Utrecht, de politie en het OM (driehoek) iedereen in Utrecht binnen te blijven tot er meer bekend is. Nieuwe incidenten worden niet uitgesloten. De politie is op dit moment nog op zoek naar de dader.— Gemeente Utrecht (@GemeenteUtrecht) March 18, 2019
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte called the situation “very worrying” and the country’s counter-terror co-ordinator said in a tweet that a crisis team was meeting to discuss the situation.
Police spokesman Bernhard Jens said no-one had been detained yet in the shooting and one possible “explanation is that the person fled by car”. He did not rule out the possibility that more than one person was involved in the attack.
“We want to try to catch the person responsible as soon as possible,” Mr Jens said.
The Mayor of Utrecht described it as "a horrible and radical incident in which victims have fallen".
"The police and the public prosecutor are currently looking for the person responsible for this incident," said Mayor Jan van Zanen.
"The most important thing at the moment is taking care of the wounded and investigating the circumstances of the incident. We do not exclude anything, not even a terrorist attack."
Olympian David Harte says he is safe in Utrecht and appealed for others in the area to stay indoors.
Ireland hockey captain Mr Harte, who is from West Cork, has been living in Utrecht since 2010.
He plays professional club hockey with SV Kampong in the Dutch Hoofdklasse.
Additional reporting by PA
Update 10.48am: Police in the Netherlands say several people have been injured after a shooting in a residential area of the city of Utrecht.
Utrecht police posted on social media that a "shooting incident" had taken place in a tram at 24 Oktoberplein.
The alarm was raised at 10.45am (9.45am Irish time).
Local media reports that a man started shooting on the tram, which was travelling towards Utrecht Centraal train station.
It is reported the gunman fled the scene by car.
BREEK - Volgens getuigen heeft een man in een tram op weg naar Utrecht CS een wapen getrokken en meerdere personen neergeschoten. Hulpdiensten massaal aanwezig en bezig met eerste hulp in de tram. pic.twitter.com/eQOWF2e5Ze— Yelle Tieleman (@YelleTieleman) March 18, 2019
Trauma helicopters have been deployed and "multiple injuries" have been reported.
The scene has been cordoned off and police appealed for the public to avoid the area.
Melding schietincident #24oktoberplein in Utrecht was om 10.45 uur. Het gaat om een schietincident in een tram. Meerdere traumaheli's zijn ingezet om hulp te verlenen.— Politie Utrecht (@PolitieUtrecht) March 18, 2019
The investigation into the Utrecht shooting is considering the possibility of a “terrorist motive”, Dutch police have said.
The police is investigating the shooting at the #24oktoberplein in Utrecht this morning. An possible terrorist motif is part of the investigation.— Politie Utrecht (@PolitieUtrecht) March 18, 2019