By Lauren Rearick
Police in the city of Utrecht, Netherlands are searching for a person believed to be responsible for shooting and killing at least three people and injuring nine others on the morning of Monday, March 18, NPR reports. Per CNN, three of the injured people are reportedly in critical condition.
According to CNN, the incident took place at 10:45 a.m. as the tram approached the 24 Oktoberplein transit station.
Authorities believe it’s possible that the suspect got away using a car, NPR reports. They added that additional accomplices to the attack are still being considered. Residents are being asked to stay inside and to come forward if they have any additional information, CNN reports.
In a statement provided to USA Today, Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte confirmed that they were still determining the motive of the shooter. “Our nation was hit by an attack in Utrecht,” he said. “It is clear there were shots on tram passengers in Utrecht, that there are wounded,” He added that “a terror motive is not excluded.”
In response to the morning’s events, the Netherlands’s national coordinator for counterterrorism and security (NCTV) increased Utrecht’s terrorism threat level to a 5, the highest level, until 6 p.m.
As reported by CBS News, there are strict gun control laws currently in place in the Netherlands. The possession of firearms and other weapons is prohibited, and firearm permits are likely only to be issued for members of a sport shooting association. In order to obtain a firearm in the Netherlands, you might submit an in-person application, demonstrate that your home has the means necessary to safely store a weapon, undergo a mental health examination, and provide three references. It then remains up to each individual police chief whether you can receive a permit to carry.