On Monday morning the police received a report that someone was standing in front of The Game coffeeshop (a café where you can buy legal soft drugs) on the Breestraat. The police caught the man red-handed and fired shots when he ran away. The man managed to escape on a scooter. A scooter was found later that day close to the Reineveldbrug bridge.
Regio15 reported that the suspect was brought to the LangeLand Hospital in Zoetermeer by an unknown person and placed in front of the door. A second suspect then fled the scene. The Public Prosecution Service could not confirm this at the time.
The shooting is the third violent incident in the Breestraat this year. On 17 May a hand grenade was thrown and The Game was shot at on 16 September. The coffeeshop was then closed but will reopen at 10:00 on Wednesday 10 October.
Students living in the area are shocked, but say that they do not feel unsafe. First year Applied Physics student, Merlin, has lived on the corner on the Koornmarkt for five or six weeks. He was woken up by the shots. “There were six shots with a pause between the fourth and fifth shots. I didn’t think it a good idea to go and see what was happening. The landlord had phoned the police. I was shocked, I have never experienced this type of thing before.”
Another student, who would rather not be named in Delta, found everything ‘sealed’ by the police on Monday morning. He did not hear the shooting, but overlooks the Breestraat from his computer. “I thought for a second that if there would be a shooting, the bullets may also come through my windows. I’m being careful on the street.”
While this student says that he feels safe, he does think about what happened. “If I walk past the coffeeshop, I remember that there was a shooting there. I feel a little less safe, but I don’t really feel uncomfortable. There was clearly a specific target.”
The Italian student, Gilberto dalla Pozza, has lived on the Breestraat for just one week. He did not hear the shots, but one of his flatmates did. “When she told me what had happened, I was surprised but not scared.” Dalla Pozza does not want to move. “It’s already so hard to find accommodation. We didn’t expect this in the Netherlands. I thought that the Netherlands was safe.”
Student Merlin does not feel unsafe. “I might cycle a different route if I come home at night. I am trying to put it into perspective. I’m definitely not thinking about moving as I like where I live. You know what, I think people in the area are getting used to it.”