Police have said at least three people are dead, including a girl, after a gunman opened fire in a city in the Netherlands.
At least three people have died after a 32-year-old gunman dressed in combat gear opened fire in a hospital and home in the Dutch city of Rotterdam on Thursday.
The dead are a 14-year-old girl, her mother and a teacher.
Dutch police said they were still investigating the motive for the twin attacks by the man who also set fire to the hospital and the house.
The man first burst into a house in the port city just after 2pm local time on Thursday (10pm AEST) and opened fire, killing a 39-year-old woman and seriously injuring her 14-year-old daughter, police chief Fred Westerbeke told reporters. The girl later died of her injuries.
He then moved to a classroom at the Erasmus MC university hospital, shooting dead a 46-year-old teacher before starting another fire in the facility, sparking panic.
Elite police stormed the hospital as panicked medics in white coats flooded out of the building pushing patients in wheelchairs and on stretchers.
The suspect was thought to have possessed only one firearm and there is no indication he had accomplices, authorities said. Police said the suspect, a student at the hospital, was already known to the authorities over a conviction for animal cruelty.
An investigation is underway as to whether he was a student of the teacher shot dead. Authorities believe that the woman and her daughter were close neighbours of the suspect, leading Mr Westerbeke to suggest they were “targeted attacks”.
Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte spoke of his “great dismay” at the shootings. “My thoughts go out to the victims of the violence, their loved ones and all those who have been hugely scared,” he added in a statement on X, formerly Twitter.
King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima said their hearts went out to those suffering “intense grief”.
Bystanders have described the bloody scene and chaos.
“First there was a shooting on the fourth floor. Four or five shots were fired. Then a molotov cocktail was thrown into the education centre,” said a medical student cited by the Netherlands’ RTL Nieuws, who did not give his name.
“There was a lot of panic and screaming … I didn’t hear any shots, just the panic and that’s what I started to act on,” public broadcaster NOS cited another eyewitness as saying.
Pictures showed helicopters buzzing overhead and police snipers taking up positions on the hospital roof.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Rotterdam GP Matthijs van der Poel, cited on the Algemeen Dagblad website.
“Everyone is totally shocked by the events and is watching the news with horror. I’m afraid such things cannot be prevented,” he said.
Rotterdam is often the scene of shootings, usually attributed to score settling by rival drug gangs.
In 2019, three people were shot dead on a tram in Utrecht, sparking a huge manhunt.
And in 2011, the country was left shocked when 24-year-old Tristan van der Vlis killed six people and wounded 10 others in a rampage at a packed shopping mall.