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Two people seen inside the Apple store in Amsterdam
Footage and images appeared to show an armed person in the store, apparently holding somebody elseImage: Laurens Bosch/ANP/picture alliance
CrimeNetherlands

Hostage situation ends at Amsterdam Apple Store

February 22, 2022

A 27-year-old suspect was arrested over the standoff that lasted for nearly five hours. He had demanded a ransom of €200 million in cryptocurrencies before he was run over by police.

https://p.dw.com/p/47RFj

Amsterdam police said they apprehended a suspect who had taken a hostage at an Apple Store in Amsterdam on Tuesday evening. Police added that the hostage was safe.

"We managed to end the situation by hitting the hostage taker with a car when he ran outside," police said on Twitter, adding that the man was being treated for serious injuries.

The suspect, who had a criminal record, had carried a pistol and an automatic rifle. He fired at least four shots when police arrived around 6 p.m. local time (1700 UTC), Amsterdam police chief Frank Pauw said during a news conference on Wednesday.

This picture shows a bullet impact on the shop window of the Apple's flagship store in central Amsterdam on February 23
Several witnesses heard gunshots inside the Apple StoreImage: Olaf Kraak/ANP/AFP

'A heroic role'

The situation didn't end until around five hours later, when the hostage fled the building as a police robot delivered water at the door of the shop at the request of the suspect, according to Dutch media reports. 

Footage showed the suspect being hit by a car outside the Apple Store as he was running after the fleeing hostage. 

"The hostage played a heroic role by forcing a breakthrough," Pauw said. "Otherwise, this could have been a long night."

The hostage's identity was not disclosed. 

Police said dozens of people had been trapped in the building when the standoff started, but were released before the situation ended.

A man in camouflage clothing is lying next to a police robot on the street
Police said the gunman was "lying on the street and a robot was examining him for explosives" after he was hit by a carImage: Laurens Bosch/ANP/picture alliance

Suspect sought crypto ransom

Dutch public broadcaster NOS had earlier reported that the hostage situation started as an alleged robbery.

But Pauw said the suspect, 27, had contacted the police himself during the hostage-taking and demanded a ransom of €200 million ($226 million) in cryptocurrencies and safe passage out of the building. 

Leidseplein, the busy downtown square where the Apple Store is located, had been cleared and cordoned off, and a helicopter had been flying overhead for hours. Police apologized for the noise and inconvenience it caused the residents in the area. 

fb/nm (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters) 

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