Police fired 21 times in shooting of German gunman
12 August 2004, AMSTERDAM — Police fired 21 rounds, but only four hit the gunman during a shootout in an Amsterdam public park on Sunday, it has been revealed.
12 August 2004
AMSTERDAM — Police fired 21 rounds, but only four hit the gunman during a shootout in an Amsterdam public park on Sunday, it has been revealed.
German Michael Dautzenberg, 20, was fatally injured when two of the bullets struck him on the right side of his body, under his armpit. It quickly emerged he was armed with a gas pistol, which is non-lethal.
The public prosecutor's office (OM) in Amsterdam has now said all seven officers at the scene returned fire when Dautzenberg starting shooting at them in the Frederiksplein. It is unclear where the 17 bullets that missed ended up.
A television camera filmed the chaotic incident as it unfolded. Police officers were just moving towards Dautzenberg when he levelled his weapon and started shooting.
Two passers-by are seen cowering in the park as the gunman ran by them and out of view of the camera. Gunfire and shouting continues and a short time later police are shown standing over the German's bloodstained body.
The OM has now disclosed that officers had first tried to disable Dautzenberg by ramming him with an armoured Mercedes car when he started shooting. When this failed, they returned fire.
Dautzenberg had left a letter to his family in his car before confronting the police, the OM said. For "privacy reasons" the OM has refused to reveal the details of the letter, but police sources confirmed to RTL it was a farewell letter.
Experts believe the incident has all the trademarks of a "suicide by cop". Dautzenberg deliberately forced the police — who did not know his weapon was non-lethal — to shoot and kill him, RTL Nieuws reported.
The German went to a police station on the Ferdinand Bolstraat in the Amsterdam suburb De Pijp on Saturday and said he wanted to talk about a car accident he had been involved in.
Without warning, he produced a gun and threatened the attending police officer before escaping. Police searched the surrounding area, but did not find him.
The man telephoned the police again at about 5pm on Sunday from a public telephone box close to Frederiksplein where the Dutch Central Bank (DNB) is located. He again asked to talk to police.
Police officers with bullet-proof vests were dispatched to the scene, where they saw the man's jacket hanging in a telephone box.
He was then seen sitting in the small park on the Frederiksplein. He stood up and started firing.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news, German News, police shooting, suicide by cop