Gun permit for Alphen gunman a mistake

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Tristan van der Vlis should never have been granted a gun licence. This is the conclusion of the official investigation into the shooting spree in Alphen aan de Rijn on 9 April. Mr Van der Vlis killed six people and injured 16 others before killing himself at a local shopping centre.

Only two years earlier, the police assisted in Mr Van der Vlis' forced admission to a psychiatric facility. That information was available to the police though was not taken into account when Mr Van der Vlis was granted a gun permit. It is unclear why the police officer processing his application did not take this information into account. Force Commander Jan Strikvoort admitted that this was a major mistake.

Mr Van der Vlis had tried to commit suicide twice in 2008. According to Chief Prosecutor Kitty Nooi, "several people and institutions knew that the combination of Tristan’s schizophrenia and his gunownership formed a dangerous mix".

The Public Prosecutor’s Office has brought charges against a man who knew about Mr Van der Vlis’ plans, but neglected to inform the police. He will be prosecuted for criminal negligence.


© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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