E.in the assassination attempt on the prominent Dutch crime reporter Peter R. de Vries has deeply appalled the country. After the arrest of three suspects, the police are hoping to clarify the matter quickly. Prime Minister Mark Rutte spoke on Wednesday night of an “attack on free journalism.”
The royal couple from Berlin reacted “deeply shocked”. “Journalists must be able to do their important work freely and without threat,” write King Willem-Alexander and his wife Máxima on Facebook. The couple is currently paying a state visit to Germany.
The reporter was gunned down while leaving a TV studio on the street and was critically injured. The police said he was taken to the hospital with a shot in the head. “Peter R. de Vries is fighting for his life,” said the mayor of Amsterdam, Femke Halsema, deeply dismayed.
According to the police, three suspects were arrested, including the suspected shooter. But nothing has been communicated about the background of the crime. A special commission was set up. The journalist is currently the confidante of the key witness in a large trial against organized crime. He is also known internationally for his reports of spectacular crimes.
TV stations report in special programs
The attack shocked the country, and TV stations reported on the crime in special programs. Prime Minister Rutte and Justice Minister Ferd Grapperhaus met with the anti-terrorism agency. Politicians from several parties and the journalists’ union reacted with horror.
The act happened around 7.30 p.m. According to eyewitnesses, a stranger fired several shots at the journalist. He had just left a TV studio at Leidseplein in the center of Amsterdam. Witnesses recognized the victim. Photos and videos on social media show that de Vries was seriously injured on the ground.
De Vries is the leading crime reporter in the Netherlands and regularly appears as a spokesperson for victims or witnesses at trials. He is also a regular guest on TV talk shows. At the moment he is the confidante of the key witness in a large trial. In 2019 the attorney for the key witness and his brother had already been shot. The reporter became internationally known in 1987 with his bestseller about the kidnapping of the brewer Freddy Heineken. In 2008 he won an Emmy Award for reporting on the case of Natalee Holloway. The American disappeared in Aruba in 2005 and was believed to have been killed by a Dutchman.