July 07, 2021
Police officers stand guard to secure the area where Dutch celebrity crime reporter Peter R. de Vries, known for his reporting on some of the most renowned criminals in the Netherlands, was shot and seriously injured, in Amsterdam, July 6, 2021. Photo: Eva Plevier / Reuters
AMSTERDAM – Celebrity crime reporter Peter R. de Vries, known for his work in exposing the Dutch underworld, was shot and seriously wounded on a street in Amsterdam, police said Tuesday.
“Peter R. de Vries was shot down in Lange Leidsedwarsstraat,” police said in a statement, referring to a street near one of the city’s largest public squares, where he had been in a television studio earlier in the evening.
He was taken to a nearby hospital in “serious condition,” the police said, calling for eyewitnesses to come forward.
Police had cordoned off the area as crowds gathered near the site where the incident took place.
De Vries won an International Emmy Award in the current affairs category in 2008 for his work investigating the disappearance of teenager Natalee Holloway in Aruba in 2005.
FILE – Dutch crime reporter Peter R. de Vries arrives for a live TV show in Amsterdam, Netherlands, on Jan. 31, 2008. Photo: AP
An alleged shooter was arrested shortly afterward, the newspaper Algemeen Dagblad reported, citing anonymous sources. Police said that they could neither confirm nor deny that report but that they expected to update the public later Tuesday evening.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte was expected to make a statement after meeting with leading law enforcement officials in the wake of the shooting, news agency ANP reported.
Dutch broadcaster RTL said that de Vries had just left its studio in downtown Amsterdam and that one of the shots hit him in the head.
Amsterdam’s Parool newspaper published an image of the scene that showed several people gathered around a person lying on the ground.
De Vries, 64, is a celebrity in the Netherlands, as both a frequent commentator on television crime programs and an expert crime reporter with sources in both law enforcement and the underworld.
De Vries is known in the Netherlands for investigative work on countless cases, notably following the 1983 kidnapping of beer magnate Freddy Heineken.
De Vries had been subjected to threats from the criminal underworld in connection with several cases.
In 2013, Willem Holleeder, the Heineken kidnapper, was convicted of making threats against de Vries. Holleeder is currently serving a life sentence for his involvement in five murders.
In 2019, Ridouan Taghi, currently on trial for murder and drug trafficking, took the unusual step of making a public statement denying reports that he had threatened to have de Vries killed.
De Vries has been acting as a counselor, but not lawyer, to a state witness identified as Nabil B. testifying in the case against Taghi and his alleged associates.
Nabil B.’s previous lawyer was shot and killed on an Amsterdam street in September 2019.