In a statement obtained by TechCrunch, Apple has praised Dutch police along with its customers and staff at the Amsterdam Apple Store where a hostage situation was resolved with no injuries to the public and the suspect arrested.
In the statement, Apple said that all employees and customers are safe after the “terrifying experience” at Apple Amsterdam in Leidseplein on Tuesday.
“We want to thank local law enforcement for their exceptional work and ongoing investigation,” said the statement, provided by an Apple spokesperson. “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.”
The statement came hours following the resolution by local police of the hostage situation at the flagship store, where a armed, camouflage-wearing man with a balaclava fired the weapon at least four times and then held at least one person hostage for several hours before being apprehended.
A photo shared by local newspaper Het Parool on Twitter showed the hostage taker sitting opposite the hostage, who appeared to be handcuffed with his hands behind his back. Although several other people were also said to have been inside when the incident began, they managed to escape unharmed.
Op een foto in handen van het Het Parool is de gijzelnemer, gehuld in een camouflagepak, samen met de gijzelaar te zien. Ze zitten tegenover elkaar, de gijzelaar lijkt geboeid met zijn handen achter zijn rug. https://t.co/qB9pNCU7J9 pic.twitter.com/QJZ0A09haw
— Het Parool (@parool) February 22, 2022
The situation lasted from around 5:30 p.m. local time until 10:45 p.m. The store was cordoned off and neighbors in the area were ordered to stay indoors.
Police say the hostage-taker contacted authorities during the incident and demanded 200 million euros ($227 million) in cryptocurrency and a safe exit from the Apple store.
As reported by AT5 Echt Amsterdams Nieuws, the standoff came to an end when the hostage-taker requested water which was taken into the store by a robot, at which point the hostage attempted to run to safety. The suspect chased the hostage and was hit by an armored BMW X5 and then checked for explosives using a robot, which confirmed no explosives were present.
Police say the suspect is a 27-year-old Amsterdam resident who sent selfies to the local press during the incident that appeared to show him wearing a bomb vest. The suspect was in possession of both an automatic weapon and a handgun. It is still unknown what events led to the incident, but he is believed to be the sole perpetrator.