Boyfriend pays tribute to ‘strong and beautiful’ waitress, 19, who was shot dead along married father-of-three and man, 28, in Dutch tram attack
- Two victims of shooting in Utrecht, Netherlands, have been named
- Roos Verschuur, 19, worked as a waitress in a snack bar in the suburb of Vianen
- Rinke Terpstra, 49, a father-of-three, coached youth football in his spare time
- Gökmen Tanis, 37, is accused of opening fire on a tram on Monday, killing three
- He fled the scene and was arrested Monday after a several hour long manhunt
- Dutch prosecutors say they have yet to find a link between suspect and victims
Remembered: A friend shared this photograph of 19-year-old Roos Verschuur, who was killed in the tram attack in Utrecht
The boyfriend of a 19-year-old woman named as one of the victims of the ‘terror motivated’ shooting on a tram in the Dutch city of Utrecht on Monday morning has paid tribute to her today.
Roos Verschuur, 19, worked as a waitress in a snack bar in the suburb of Vianen and was caught up in the attack travelling through the city on her day off.
Miss Verschuur’s boyfriend Wilmar Ijskes has today spoken of his grief, and told MailOnline: ‘She was beautiful and she was strong.
‘She was my lovely girlfriend. This is a terrible tragedy.
‘I can’t tell you what I feel about the man who killed her. I am too angry about it
‘Roos was a very happy girl. Why would anybody do this to her?’
He said she had helped him greatly after he was struck by a lorry, breaking his right leg which has led to him having to use a mobility scooter until his injuries have healed.
Leonardo Hopstaken, an executive at the offices of the snack bar where she worked said: ’There is a great level of grief. People have been in tears.
‘We have closed the restaurant today and probably will tomorrow too in respect.’
A friend of the murdered teenager posted a picture of her on Facebook and said: ‘Dear Roos… Words are too short… Much too young and still in the prime of life. Always in my memory girlfriend.’
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Meanwhile Dutch authorities are ‘seriously’ investigating a potential terrorist motive. after it was revealed that the main suspect, Turkish-born Gökmen Tanis, 37, has no known link to the victims.
Police and prosecutors said suspicions of terrorism had been prompted by a letter found in the suspect’s getaway car, a stolen red Renault Clio found abandoned a few hundred yards from the scene.
Tanis allegedly opened fire on a tram in Utrecht’s city centre at 10.45am yesterday, killing three people – including Miss Verschuur and Mr Terpstra – and injuring five others.
Flowers have been set up in tribute to victims at the site of a shooting in a tram, at 24 October square in Utrecht
A tram passes in the background as flowers are seen in the foreground near the site of a shooting incident in a tram in Utrecht, Netherlands
Flowers are placed at the site where three people were shot dead and five others injured
According to a witness interviewed on public service broadcaster NOS’s Nieuwsuur, the perpetrator shouted ‘Allah Akbar’ – meaning ‘God is Great’ in Arabic – as he opened fire on bystanders.
Nicky van Grinsven was working nearby and rushed to the scene to help a wounded young woman after hearing the gunshots.
‘She screamed at me that she felt nothing. That was the sign to me that she was paralyzed. She had got a bullet in her back.”
He described seeing the perpetrator coming off the tram, some 30ft away, and said he began shooting at him and other bystanders.
The shooting saw the terrorism threat level in Utrecht raised to the highest possible, and sparked a manhunt which ended with Tanis’ arrest a few hours later.
This photo, released by Utrecht police, shows Turkish-born Gökman Tanis, 37, on the tram’s CCTV just minutes before the shooting began at 10.45am on Monday. He was later arrested by police late Monday afternoon
37-year-old Gokmen Tanis is led away by police in Utrecht, Netherlands, as he is arrested
Married father-of-three Rinke Terpstra, 49, an IT worker who trained a local youth football team with the Utrecth club C.O.V. DESTO, has also been named as a victim today.
In a statement released by C.O.V. DESTO, Chairman Frits Veldhuis paid tribute to Mr Terpstra.
It said: ‘With great dismay and astonishment, we received the terrible news that our trainer of the teams JO19-1 and MO11-2 died in yesterday’s shooting incident in Utrecht.
‘Our compassion goes first and foremost to his wife and children. He has been involved with Desto for a long time, where he himself played football, tennis and also trained both his sons and daughter with passion.’
The third victim remains unidentified but is a 28-year-old man from Utrecht.
Three people including the alleged shooter have been arrested.
Utrecht police said this morning that they could not find evidence of any relationship between the gunman and his victims, despite claims by his family in Turkey.
Tanis, who has been accused of rape by a 47-year-old woman, is seen on the tram just a few minutes before shooting began, which left three people dead – including a married father and a teenager – and five others injured
Incident: Emergency services cordoned off a tram in Utrecht, Holland, where an assailant opened fire on commuters at around 10.45am local time on Monday
Detectives are delving into Tanis’s political connections to substantiate whether he was driven by jihadi ideology.
Police recovered a note the killer left in his stolen car which apparently spelled out a terrorist motive.
The attack came three days after 50 people were gunned down by a white supremacist in two mosques at Christchurch, New Zealand.
Tanis, 37, is now being investigated as a probable terrorist after opening fire on the tram as it trundled towards Utrecht station yesterday morning.
But police are also examining claims that he was a drug dealer and had been accused of rape.
Attack: The incident took place in Utrecht’s city centre on Monday morning at 10.45am
It is reported that at least one member of his family in Holland was known to have Jihadist sympathies.
Tanis was arrested last night after more than five hours on the loose after Utrecht had been put into lockdown.
Two centres were opening in Utrecht today to help counsel those affected by trauma after the attack and flags were flying at half mast.
Mahmut Tanis, an uncle of Tanis who lives in the Netherlands, said that he doubted radical motives.
He told a Turkish news agency: ‘Looking at my nephew’s condition, the possibility that what he did was a terror attack is low.’
He said he had not seen him in years and that his actions could stem from ‘matters of the heart.’
But the gunman’s father Mehmet Tanis, who lives in Turkey’s central Kayseri province, told Demiroren news agency that he hadn’t spoken to his son in 11 years, adding ‘if he did it, he should pay the penalty.’
Utrecht police said in a statement today:’The investigation has so far revealed no relationship between the main suspect and the victims. .’
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