Dutch crime journalist Peter R de Vries reportedly shot in the head in Amsterdam

·2-min read
Police at the site of a shooting in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 6 July 2021, where a man was seriously injured. (EPA)
Police at the site of a shooting in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 6 July 2021, where a man was seriously injured. (EPA)

Investigative reporter Peter R de Vries was shot in the head at close range shortly after appearing on a news and entertainment television show, according to police.

The crime reporter, known for covering high profile cases like the disappearance of Natalee Holloway, was taken to hospital in a critical condition with “serious” injuries as police launched a “large-scale” search for the shooter.

Two suspects were arrested in a possible getaway car while a third was arrested at a separate location based on his description, police commissioner Frank Paauw told local reporters at a press conference.

Police confirmed the identity of Mr De Vries after an eyewitness first told Dutch news outlet Het Parool that she heard the shots and saw the reporter lying on the ground. She held his hand until an ambulance arrived.

A second witness told the newspaper she heard four or five loud bangs, while video circulating online shortly after the shooting showed Mr De Vries lying on the ground with blood pooling at his head.

Amsterdam Police said earlier a large number of officers searched for the suspected shooter, who was described as a light-skinned man with a slender build, dark green camouflage jacket and a black cap.

“We are looking for witnesses and people who have camera images of the incident or possible (fleeing) suspects. DO NOT share these images on social media,” police said in a tweet.

The shooting occurred shortly after Mr De Vries filmed an appearance on the morning news programme RTL Boulevard in Lange Leidsedwarsstraat.

A local celebrity in the Netherlands, Mr De Vries was known in the United States for his work investigating the mysterious disappearance of teenager Natalee Holloway, who went missing from the Caribbean island of Aruba in 2005.

His work investigating crimes in the Netherlands led to threats, allegedly from the subjects of his reporting.

He rose to prominence reporting on the kidnapping of Freddy Heineken, former chairman and CEO of the Amsterdam brewing empire and one of Europe’s richest men. The kidnapper, Willem Hollendeer, was convicted in 2013 of making threats against Mr De Vries.

The journalist had previously said another subject of his reporting, Ridouan Taghi, made threats against his life two years ago. It prompted Mr Taghi, who was arrested in late 2019 on charges of murder and drug trafficking, to make a public statement denying he threatened to have Mr De Vries killed.

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