Six dead in Dutch shopping centre shooting

9th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

A man opened fire on shoppers at a mall in the western Netherlands on Saturday, killing five and wounding at least 11 before turning the gun on himself, a local official said.

"There are at present six dead, including the person responsible," Bas Eenhoorn, the acting mayor of Alphen aan den Rijn, told a press conference.

Four people were seriously wounded and at least seven less badly hurt, he said.

"A man with an automatic weapon opened fire on the crowd" in the Ridderhof centre, "which was packed with families and children doing their shopping," Eenhoorn said.

He said the man had acted alone, but did not identify him. Witnesses described him as about 20 years old.

The shooting created mass panic in the mall, heightened by fears that more than one gunman was involved. Police who arrived on the scene evacuated the premises.

"It's hardly credible that our town could experience such slaughter, and on a day as beautiful as this," said Eenhoorn, adding that he was deeply shocked and offering his condolences to relatives of the victims.

© 2011 AFP

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