Man with gun takes hostage at Amsterdam Apple store, broadcaster reports

Several video clips on the broadcaster's website appeared to show a person being held at gunpoint.

 Dutch police officers stand near an Apple store in central Amsterdam during a hostage incident in the store, in Amsterdam, Netherlands February 22, 2022.  (photo credit: REUTERS/PIROSCHKA VAN DE WOUW)
Dutch police officers stand near an Apple store in central Amsterdam during a hostage incident in the store, in Amsterdam, Netherlands February 22, 2022.
(photo credit: REUTERS/PIROSCHKA VAN DE WOUW)

Dutch police ended a hostage-taking in an Apple APPL.O flagship store in Amsterdam after a man armed with two guns held at least one person hostage for hours, police said on Wednesday.

Police arrested the suspected hostage-taker, a 27-year old man from Amsterdam, after he ran out of the building at the central Leidseplein square, shortly after 10:30 p.m. (2130 GMT) on Tuesday.

"We managed to end the situation by hitting the hostage-taker with a car when he ran outside," police said on Twitter, adding that the man was being treated for serious injuries.

The man had carried a pistol and an automatic rifle, with which he fired at least four shots when police arrived at the square around 6 p.m., Amsterdam police chief Frank Pauw told a news conference early on Wednesday.

 A police officer stands next to a police vehicle near an Apple store in central Amsterdam during a hostage incident in the store, in Amsterdam, Netherlands February 22, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/PIROSCHKA VAN DE WOUW) A police officer stands next to a police vehicle near an Apple store in central Amsterdam during a hostage incident in the store, in Amsterdam, Netherlands February 22, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/PIROSCHKA VAN DE WOUW)

The man, who had a criminal record, had contacted the police himself during the hostage-taking, demanding a ransom of 200 million euros ($226 million) in cryptocurrencies and a safe passage out of the building, Pauw said.

"He threatened a hostage with a gun and threatened to blow himself up, so we took it very seriously," Amsterdam newspaper Parool quoted the police chief as saying.

The situation ended when the hostage, reportedly a 44-year old British man, fled from the building when a police robot delivered water at the door of the store at the request of the hostage-taker.

The hostage-taker ran after the man and was quickly hit by the car.

"The hostage played a heroic role by forcing a breakthrough," Pauw said. "Otherwise, this could have been a long night."

During the evening, about 70 people were able to leave the store while the hostage-taking was going on. There were no reports of any other injuries.

The hostage-taker was seriously injured, but able to speak when he was arrested, police said.