Dutch police are hunting a 37-year-old man after three people were killed and several others injured in a suspected terror attack on a tram in the central city of Utrecht.
Utrecht police have appealed for sightings of Gökmen Tanis in connection with the incident, however they have warned people not to approach him.
Authorities confirmed today that three people had died in the shooting and five others were injured. Earlier, police said nine people were wounded in the shooting.
Authorities immediately raised the terror alert for the area to the maximum level after Monday’s shooting, with police saying they were considering the possibility of a “terrorist motive” in the attack.
Heavily-armed police and paramedics swooped on a square in the west of the city following the fatal attack this morning.
The shooting began at 10.45am local time (9.45am GMT) when a gunman opened fire on a tram at 24 Oktoberplein.
Authorities say that a suspect is still on the run after the shooting. Counter-terror police told reporters shots may have been fired at “several” locations in the city.
Armed officers later massed around an apartment building close to the square.
Utrecht police said three air ambulances were sent to the scene and appealed to the public to stay away.
Schools were told to keep their doors closed.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte said he was “deeply concerned” and that crisis talks were to be held in response to the incident.
The Dutch government raised the terrorism threat level to the highest possible in Utrecht after the attack.
The National Anti-Terrorism Coordinator said it had raised alert level as the suspected shooter was still at large.
Security was increased at schools, mosques and transportation hubs after the shooting.
A police spokesman said one possible “explanation is that the person fled by car”.
There were conflicting reports as to whether there was a lone gunman in the attack.
The Netherlands: Utrecht Tram Shooting – In pictures
Police did not rule out the possibility that more than one person was involved.
Utrecht’s University Medical Centre opened its dedicated emergency ward in response to the incident.
Dutch newspaper AD reported that a woman was shot and two people resuscitated on the street.
Another victim was resuscitated in the tram, according to the newspaper.
Dutch radio said security had been increased at the seat of the government in The Hague.
RTV Utrecht quoted an eyewitness as saying he had seen a woman lying on the ground amid some kind of confrontation.
Several men ran away from the scene, the witness said.
Jimmy de Koster told the news outlet: “I came from my job when it happened. I see a woman lying down, I think she is between 20 and 35. It was complete and utter chaos.”
“At that moment I heard pang pang pang three times, four men walked very fast towards her and they tried to drag her away and then I heard pang pang pang again and those guys let go of that woman again.”
Another witness told broadcaster NOS that he saw an injured woman with blood on her hands and clothes.
He said: “I brought her into my car and helped her. When the police arrived she was unconscious.”
Pictures shared on social media showed the tram surrounded by emergency services as the area was on lock down.
Police in Germany say they have upped surveillance on the country’s border and are on the lookout for the gunman.
Utrecht’s transport authority said tram services across the city have been cancelled following the incident.
Utrecht Police earlier appealed to the public to stay away to allow first responders to do their work.
The force tweeted: “Let social workers in the area 24 Oktoberplein in Utrecht do their work, keep the roads clear for them.”