Apple Issues Statement Following Resolved Hostage Situation At Amsterdam Store
Apple has praised Dutch police as well as customers and staff at an Amsterdam store where a hostage situation yesterday came to a close with no injuries to the public and the suspect detained in custody.
In a statement obtained by TechCrunch, Apple said that all employees and customers are safe after the "terrifying experience" at Apple Amsterdam in Leidseplein on Tuesday.
"We want to thank local law enforcement for their exceptional work and ongoing investigation," said the statement, provided by an Apple spokesperson. "Our teams and customers took swift action and showed incredible strength and resolve today, and we are so thankful for the support and care they've shown each other under such challenging circumstances."
The statement came hours after local police resolved the hostage situation at the flagship store, which saw a man in camouflage gear and a balaclava fire a gun at least four times and then hold at least one person hostage for several hours before being apprehended.
A photo shared by local newspaper Het Parool showed the hostage taker sitting opposite the hostage, who appeared handcuffed with his hands behind his back. Several other people were also reported to have been inside when the incident began, but managed to escape unharmed.
The attack, which lasted from around 5:30 p.m. local time until 10:45 p.m., saw the store cordoned off and people in surrounding buildings ordered to stay indoors. According to police, the hostage-taker contacted authorities during the incident and demanded 200 million euros ($227 million) in cryptocurrency and a safe exit from the Apple store.
Op een foto in handen van het Het Parool is de gijzelnemer, gehuld in een camouflagepak, samen met de gijzelaar te zien. Ze zitten tegenover elkaar, de gijzelaar lijkt geboeid met zijn handen achter zijn rug. https://t.co/qB9pNCU7J9 pic.twitter.com/QJZ0A09haw — Het Parool (@parool) February 22, 2022
AT5 Echt Amsterdams Nieuws reported that the standoff came to an end when the hostage-taker requested water which was taken into the store by a robot, at which point the hostage attempted to run to safety. As the suspect chased after the hostage, police on the scene hit the running suspect with an armored BMW X5 and then checked him for explosives using a robot, which confirmed none were present.
According to the police, the suspect is a 27-year-old Amsterdam resident who sent selfies to the local press during the incident that appeared to show him wearing a bomb vest. The suspect was in possession of both an automatic weapon and a handgun. It's still unknown what prompted the incident, but he is believed to have acted alone.