Shot teacher dies, 'student killer' reports to police

13th January 2004, Comments 0 comments

14 January 2004 , AMSTERDAM — The 49-year-old deputy headmaster shot in the head on school grounds in The Hague on Tuesday has died of his injuries and the suspected killer, believed to be a 17-year-old student, has reported to police.

14 January 2004

AMSTERDAM — The 49-year-old deputy headmaster shot in the head on school grounds in The Hague on Tuesday has died of his injuries and the suspected killer, believed to be a 17-year-old student, has reported to police.

Hans van Wieren

Economics teacher Hans van Wieren was shot at about 1.15pm at Terra College school canteen and was airlifted in a critical condition by trauma helicopter to the Westeinde Ziekenhuis, where he lost the fight for life at about 10pm.

The suspect had earlier reported to authorities at about 9.05pm when he arrived at a local police station in a car with another person. The youth has been interrogated and has been remanded in custody, while police also questioned the youth's companion, news agency ANP reported

The companion has reportedly told police the detainee regretted the shooting and police have searched their car for evidence. One witness claims to have seen a 50cm-long gun used in the attack.

Midday Wednesday, the police reproted they had found the gun in bushes near the school.

The precise circumstances of the killing are not yet clear, but it has been confirmed that the suspect was facing the prospect of being suspended from school due to misconduct. A decision on whether to suspend him was to be taken on Thursday.

Witnesses claim no words were exchanged between the teacher and the suspect immediately prior to the shooting and as panic broke out among students gathered in the canteen, the suspect escaped from the scene.

Two 16-year-old girls said they heard a loud crack and then saw the victim lying on the ground with a pool of blood around his head, an NOS news report said.

Amid fears that the shooter had holed himself up in the school, students were ordered to leave the area. But after it became clear the suspect had escaped the immediate vicinity, police launched a massive man hunt using also tracker dogs.

The victim Van Wieren was also a deputy director of the VMBO pre-vocational secondary school, which is part of Terra College system of secondary schools in the suburbs of Escamp and Wateringse Veld in the southwest of The Hague.

The school is located on the Beresteinlaan. He was also an elected town councillor in Zoetermeer for the small D66 party.

Both Terra College and The Hague City Council will give a press conference at about 2pm on Wednesday in the city hall on the Spui. The school hopes to prevent a mass of journalists and photographers swarming to school grounds.

The school board urged all students and parents to assemble at 8.30am on Wednesday, where social work and trauma assistance will be available. There will be no school lessons for the next two to three days and the school has sought help from Slachtofferhulp (Victim Assistance) and medical authority GGD. 

The school does not have any detection gates, but there are security personnel and a special safety agent present on school grounds. But security officers do not have permission to inspect student bags for possible weapon possession.

As the school battled to maintain order, the deceased teacher was recently responsible for the installation of surveillance cameras at the school in response to previous violent incidents. Students had also been issued with ID cards.

Tuesday's shooting is the second shooting to have occurred at a Dutch school. Four students and a teacher were wounded about five years ago when a student opened fire at a school in Veghel, located near Den Bosch.

In October 1995, a 19-year-old student of the Prisma-college in Utrecht stabbed a 17-old-student to death.  The latest incident is, however, the first time a teacher was allegedly killed by a student.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

0 Comments To This Article