At the Erasmus Medical Centre (EMC), Erasmus University and throughout Rotterdam, people are mourning three fatalities of the shooting incidents on Thursday 28 September at a home in Rotterdam and in an EMC lecture hall. They are a woman aged 39, a girl aged 14 and a man aged 43.
The latter is practice teacher and general practitioner Jurgen Damen. He also worked within TU Delft's bachelor of clinical technology and master of technical medicine, where he had a lot of contact with Delft students and staff, reports the Executive Board in a message to all employees. “Yesterday we were deeply saddened to learn of the tragic events in Rotterdam. During this incident, Jurgen Damen was shot at Erasmus MC and subsequently passed away in the hospital,” the Executive Board writes. “Our heartfelt condolences go out to his family and close ones.”
The Board writes its thoughts are ‘with the other victims of the incident, our colleagues and students at Erasmus MC and TU Delft, and everyone who witnessed the horrific events’. “We are offering as much support as possible to help them cope with this tragic day.” The message was also signed by the Dean of Mechanical Engineering, Maritime Engineering and Technical Materials Science (3mE), Fred van Keulen. The two aforementioned programmes fall under his faculty.
The Board informs that Erasmus MC is organising a meeting for students, staff and others involved on 29 September. They will be informed about this separately, the Executive Board writes. TU Delft also offers helplines. For this, the Board refers to the TU Delft Well-being & Study page. Study advisers, student psychologists (firstname.lastname@example.org) and the University Social Worker are also at the ready. “Please do not hesitate to reach out if you need assistance. We will do everything within our power to help you,” the Board writes.
The suspect in the fatal shootings, Fouad L., was arrested on Thursday shortly after his violent acts. He appears to have specifically targeted his victims. L. is a student at Erasmus University.
Various media reported Friday morning that he was known to police and prosecutors. Because of animal cruelty and the suspect’s psychological problems, the public prosecutor (OM) even raised the alarm with Erasmus University. In a letter, the OM tells about L.’s psychotic behaviour and the violent videos and Nazi images on his phone. “I assume that the above information contributes to your decision whether or not the person concerned is eligible for the basic medical degree,” the letter ends. The Dutch Broadcasting Service (NOS) reported (in Dutch) on Friday morning that L. (32) was on the verge of receiving his degree as a general practitioner, but that the examination board had required him to undergo a psychological examination following the prosecutor’s notice.
On the unfiltered internet forum 4Chan, L. allegedly wrote about his grievances under a pseudonym. There, L. also complains about his studies. It would have ‘sabotaged’ him. It would have been all down to his high intelligence. His appeal: death to ‘normies’, or people of ordinary intelligence.
Erasmus University reacted with shock. “It has become a pitch-black day for the university now that it has become known that the perpetrator of the shooting was a student of Erasmus University Rotterdam,” the website reads.
Police kept the evacuated people far away from the hospital during the shooting incident. (Photo: Elmer Smaling/Erasmus Magazine)
Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb called it a horrifying event. Ministers Robbert Dijkgraaf and Ernst Kuipers also expressed their condolences. On Twitter, they wrote: “In a place where everyone should feel safe, innocent victims were killed today. Attacked at a place where people are treated and doctors of the future are trained. We find it hard to comprehend.”
- Do you need help? TU Delft also offers helplines. The Board refers to the TU Delft Well-being & Study page. Study advisers, student psychologists (email@example.com) and the University Social Worker are also at the ready. “Please do not hesitate to reach out if you need assistance. We will do everything within our power to help you,” the Board writes.
Saskia Bonger, Delta/Bas Belleman, HOP