Dutch gunman used semi-automatic weapon

14th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

Tristan van der Vlis, who shot six people dead in a shopping centre in Alphen aan den Rijn on Saturday, used a semi-automatic weapon and a handgun before shooting himself. Police and the Public Prosecution Office have revealed that he also wore a bullet-proof vest during the rampage.

In previous reports three weapons were said to have been found on his body, but police made no mention of a third weapon. There were also rumours that the Van der Vlis used a fully automatic weapon, which is illegal in the Netherlands, but the National Forensic Institute has ruled this out of its investigation.

"A number of victims were shot with a semi-automatic weapon and others with a handgun," said a spokesperson for the Public Prosecution Office.

The semi-automatic weapon he used can fire 25 bullets in five seconds. Police announced earlier that over a hundred rounds were shot within a few minutes.

The investigation team is being assisted by the serious crime squad, which will look into the gunman's mental state and his motive.

Mayor Bas Eenhoorn is to visit the parents of Tristan van der Vlis today. Around 250 people attended the first funeral of the victims on Wednesday. It was for a 42-year-old Syrian poet, who fled to the Netherlands after surviving an attempt on his life in Syria.

Next week,Queen Beatrix, Prince Willem-Alexander and Prime Minister Mark Rutte will attend a commemoration service for the victims in Alphen aan den Rijn.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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