Suspect in the deadly tram shooting in Utrecht has been arrested, says police chief

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Martha Fairlie

A 37-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the deadly tram shooting in the Dutch city of Utrecht, the local police chief has said.

The suspect, who police had earlier named as Turkish-born Gökmen Tanis, was detained during a raid on the Old Town after three people were killed in the shooting on Monday.

Police are not ruling out terrorist motives, but said they were "investigating all possible" motives, including personal reasons behind the attack.

Heavily armed police near the site of the tram shooting in Utrecht. Credit: AP

Local police revised the number of wounded in the attack to five, having previously said nine people had been injured.

Three of the wounded were "fighting for their lives," Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte said at a press conference on Monday evening.

Earlier police had released a picture of a man they named as Gökmen Tanis on board the tram, who they said was "associated with the incident."

Dutch justice minister said the suspect "had a criminal record."

The suspect allegedly used an autonomic weapon before fleeing the crime scene in a car.

Police erect a white tent where a body appears to be lying next to a tram. Credit: AP

The city's mayor Jan van Zanen confirmed the death toll at a press conference, adding that a "terror motive" was the most plausible reason behind the attack.

Mr Rutte called the situation "very worrying" saying that throughout the country "there is a mix of disbelief and disgust".

He said: "There was an attack today in the Netherlands - if it had terror motives, that is being investigated. But it was very serious. The world shares our grief."

In the aftermath of the attack, authorities immediately raised the terror alert for the Utrecht province to the maximum level of five, but reduced it to four following the arrest of the suspect.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, left, and Justice and Security Minister Ferd Grapperhaus speak to the media at a press conference in The Hague. Credit: AP

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt described the incident as "hugely concerning".

In a tweet he said the UK is in contact with Dutch authorities, "urgently seeking further information".

The threat level in Utrecht and the surrounding area have been raised to the highest level. Credit: AP

On Monday heavily armored anti-terror officers surrounded an apartment block close to the scene of the deadly shooting.

Surveillance along Germany's border with Netherlands has increased according to police reports.

The Utrecht attack came three days after 50 people were killed when an immigrant-hating white nationalist opened fire at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand during Friday prayers. There was no immediate indication of any link between the two events.