Antelope Valley Press

Dutch crime reporter shot, wounded in street


AMSTERDAM (AP) — One of the Netherland­s’ best known crime reporters was shot Tuesday evening in a brazen attack in downtown Amsterdam and was fighting for his life in a hospital, the Dutch capital’s mayor said.

Peter R. de Vries, who is widely lauded for fearless reporting on the Dutch underworld, was shot after making one of his regular appearance­s on a current affairs television show. It was an unusually brutal attack on a journalist in the Netherland­s.

“Peter R. de Vries is for all of us a national hero, an unusually courageous journalist, tirelessly seeking justice,” Mayor Femke Halsema said at a hastily convened news conference at the city’s police headquarte­rs.

“Today, justice in our country appears a long way off. A brutal, cowardly crime has been committed,” Halsema added.

Police Chief Frank Paauw said two suspects were detained, “including a possible shooter” in a suspected getaway car stopped on a highway some 30 miles south of the city. A third suspect was detained in Amsterdam, he said.

There was no immediate word on a motive.

De Vries had long been considered a possible target of the criminals he doggedly reported on. Police and prosecutor­s declined Tuesday night to comment on whether the 64-year-old reporter received police protection.

“An attack on a courageous journalist and also an attack on the free journalism that is so essential for our democracy, our constituti­onal state, our society is shocking and incomprehe­nsible,” Caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte said.

De Vries had recently been acting as an adviser and confidant to a witness in a major trial of the alleged leader of a crime gang police described as an “oiled killing machine.”

The suspected gangland leader, Ridouan Taghi, was extradited to the Netherland­s from Dubai in 2019. He is currently in jail while he stands trial along with 16 other suspects.

King Willem-Alexander and his wife Queen Maxima tweeted a message of support and said that “journalist­s must be free to carry out their important work without threats.”

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