Apple thanks police after ‘terrifying’ hostage situation at Amsterdam store

Apple thanked police in Amsterdam on Wednesday for their “exceptional work” after a “terrifying” hostage situation unfolded at a local Apple store.

An armed man in a balaclava stormed Apple Leidseplein on Tuesday, and a bystander was taken and held at gunpoint. After several hours, the police stopped the gunman by hitting him with a car as he tried to flee.

Apple store gunman demands $ 226 million

Police descended on the store around 6 pm local time Tuesday after a 27-year-old man, who carried a pistol and an automatic rifle, entered and fired at least four shots, according to a Reuters report.

The man took one person hostage and called police to demand a ransom of 200 million euros (approximately $ 226 million) in cryptocurrencies. He also “threatened to blow himself up, so we took it very seriously,” the police chief said.

At around 10:30 pm, the hostage, a 44-year-old British man, was able to escape when a police robot delivered water to the store’s front door. “The hostage played a heroic role by forcing a breakthrough,” the chief said.

The gunman attempted to flee soon after and police “managed to end the situation by hitting the hostage taker with a car when he ran outside,” they confirmed on Twitter. Apple later thanked the police for their work.

Apple thanks Amsterdam police

“We want to thank local law enforcement for their exceptional work and ongoing investigation,” read an Apple statement issued to TechCrunch.

“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.”

Around 70 people managed to escape the store while the hostage was taken. After the gunman was stopped, a police robot checked him for explosives before he was taken into custody. The suspect is reportedly seriously injured.

According to Apple’s website, Apple Leidseplein is now closed today and tomorrow, but scheduled to reopen on Friday, February 25.

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Naveen Kumar

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