Gun rampage at Dutch farm day center for disabled children leaves woman and girl dead

Forensics work on the scene where two people were shot dead and two wounded at a "care farm" for people with mental or social issues, in Alblasserdam on Friday

Gun rampage at Dutch farm day center for disabled children leaves woman and girl dead and two other people including a child injured

  • A 38-year-old man has been arrested and firearm seized following the shootings
  • Suspect opened fire and killed a 16-year-old girl and a 34-year-old woman at Tro Tardi farm near the city of Rotterdam on Friday
  • A 12-year-old boy and a 20-year-old woman were also seriously injured

A teenage girl and a woman have been killed and two others including a child seriously injured during a gun rampage at a Dutch farm day center for disabled children near the city of Rotterdam.

Police said that a 38-year-old man has been arrested and the firearm seized following the shootings at the Tro Tardi farm in Alblasserdam on Friday.

The gunman, named by local media as John S., opened fire at 11am local time at the farm, killing a 34-year-old woman whose horse was in the stables at the farm and a 16-year-old girl.

A 12-year-old boy and a 20-year-old woman were also seriously injured in the attack and rushed to hospital, Rotterdam police said.

Forensics work on the scene where two people were shot dead and two wounded at a "care farm" for people with mental or social issues, in Alblasserdam on Friday

Forensics work on the scene where two people were shot dead and two wounded at a ‘care farm’ for people with mental or social issues, in Alblasserdam on Friday

Police in the Netherlands said Friday that two people have been killed and two seriously wounded in a shooting at a countryside home for people with disabilities on a farm near the city of Rotterdam.  Pictured: A police officer holds a grieving woman at the scene

Police in the Netherlands said Friday that two people have been killed and two seriously wounded in a shooting at a countryside home for people with disabilities on a farm near the city of Rotterdam. Pictured: A police officer holds a grieving woman at the scene

Witnesses said they heard several shots at the farm before they fled into the nearby meadow in panic.

The male suspect has been known to police for several years as ‘confused and a nuisance’ but he has no criminal record, several Dutch media reported. In October 2017, he made a public suicide attempt.

The Tro Tardi farm is a day center where up to 15 children, young people and adults with conditions such as autism and Alzheimer’s work with animals as a form of therapy, broadcaster NOS said.

Ad Donk is waiting to see his 29-year-old son Ernst, who was at the farm at the time of the shooting. He said his son, who has Down’s syndrome and has visited the center for six years, escaped without being harmed.

‘Fortunately, nothing happened to him, but he did see it happen,’ Donk, who cycled to the farm as soon as he heard of the shooting, told the Rijnmond broadcaster.

‘I don’t know what his condition is. He is a sensitive boy. This is really intense.’

Donk said Ernst looks after the animals and can go horse riding at the farm.

Investigators work at a care farm in Alblasserdam after a deadly shooting in which a 16-year-old girl and a 34-year-old woman were killed

Investigators work at a care farm in Alblasserdam after a deadly shooting in which a 16-year-old girl and a 34-year-old woman were killed

Police said that a 38-year-old man has been arrested and the firearm seized following the shootings at the Tro Tardi farm in Alblasserdam on Friday.  Pictured: Police at the scene

Police said that a 38-year-old man has been arrested and the firearm seized following the shootings at the Tro Tardi farm in Alblasserdam on Friday. Pictured: Police at the scene

Donk told Dutch newspaper Het Parol: ‘Every day, about ten to fifteen young people are present at the daytime activities. The staff tries to calm those present as best as possible.’

Rotterdam police said in a statement: ‘The suspect has been arrested and the firearm has been seized. The witnesses are taken care of, help is arranged for them. The investigation is underway.’

The rampage took place in Alblasserdam, overlooking the famous Kinderdijk windmills near Rotterdam, a UNESCO world heritage site.

Two air ambulances had landed at the scene and numerous emergency vehicles were stationed outside the farm. People were urged to stay away from the area.

This is a breaking news story, more to follow…

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