Dutch police arrested three suspects in connection with the shooting of veteran crime journalist Peter R de Vries, who was shot in the centre of Amsterdam earlier this week.
Eyewitnesses claim that De Vries, who had just left the studios of broadcaster RTL, had been shot in the head at point-blank range while trying to get to his car at around 7:30 pm on Tuesday.
The gunman is believed to have fled in a getaway car that attempted to get onto a motorway but was stopped by police. Two men in the car were arrested, one of which is believed to be the gunman, Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reports.
A third suspect was also arrested in Amsterdam, according to police, but investigators did not comment on whether a firearm was found in the vehicle they had stopped. Police later said that th ethird man was no longer being treated as a suspect.
According to the BBC, the two men arrested in the car were a 35-year-old Polish national and a 21-year-old from Rotterdam. They will both appear in court on Friday. The third man, aged 18, was set to be released.
‘We Live In a Narco State’ – Lawyer Gunned Down in Liberal Amsterdam, Moroccan Mafia Suspected https://t.co/bSBkaYiFKg
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) September 21, 2019
The 64-year-old journalist, who previously investigated organised crime in the Netherlands, has been given police protection in the past following threats. In 2019, he had been told that he was on a hit list of one of the country’s most wanted criminals.
The BBC reports De Vries had recently been advising a former gang member who was testifying against his former boss, a Moroccan heritage drug lord.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte called the shooting “shocking and incomprehensible” and said that it was an attack on the freedom of the press in the Netherlands.
Dutch King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima also expressed their concern, stating that they were “deeply shocked” over the shooting. De Vries remains in hospital in critical condition.
The shooting comes just under two years since Dutch lawyer Derk Wiersum was shot dead on the streets of Amsterdam, with some speculating the shooting may have been tied to a case involving organised Moroccan-background criminal gangs.