The police previously characterized the man as an aggressive man who may have had a weapon with him. Nothing is yet clear about the motive. It was unclear for a long time whether he had been in the school all that time. There were also reports that the man may have been seen somewhere else. Despite this, the school was quickly surrounded. “We take these types of reports very seriously.” The police said they would do “everything they can” to remove the threat and asked everyone via social media to stay away from the evacuated school.
Mayor Hans Janssen of the Brabant municipality says in response to the incident that it has a great impact. “Local residents are also afraid and angry, just like our residents. Understandable and right,” Janssen said in a written statement.
All teachers and students at the affected primary school are now safe, says Janssen, who spoke to them on Tuesday morning. The mayor says that the municipality is doing everything it can to support and guide them.
Text continues below the tweet and video.
Police present en masse
When entering Oisterwijk, I immediately noticed the police cars on the corner of the arterial roads. As one approached the school, more and more police and other emergency services could be seen. A helicopter was deployed above the school. An ambulance was also on site. The entire area around the school was cordoned off with ribbons. The police soon issued a description of the suspect: “We are looking for a possibly confused man, 30 years old, slightly tanned, 180m, slim, beard, shaved hair, curls on top, gray sweatpants, red shirt.” The police urged people not to approach the man themselves, but to call the police.
“At eight o’clock we received a report of a man with aggressive behavior who had entered the school,” said police spokesman Eric Passchier. “There was also a report of a firearm. The DSI has broken out and split itself up; partly in the center and partly at the school. We made sure that the children could go outside safely first. That worked.”
Text continues below the tweet
A local resident had a school teacher visit early on. He said he saw a man with gray pants and black curly hair. According to her, it was a Syrian. She saw that the man had a gun in his hand and was carrying an object. The woman has been calling for half an hour. The police arrived while she was in the house. She warned her colleagues. The houses in the street in front of the school were evacuated. The fire brigade kept the road surface wet as a precaution. The perpetrator could also have used the gas network. The police went to the school building with dogs, local residents saw.
Primary school student Maaike Scherders is at Den Donk. The fear can still be read on her face. “Luckily we were allowed to leave the school quickly. That went smoothly,” says Maaike. The suspect said he did not see them. Maaike is picked up by her father. Her bicycle disappears into a van. According to Maaike, everyone can go home soon. But anyone who needs shelter can stay in the pool.
Text continues below the photos
The children, together with the teachers, were temporarily sheltered at a swimming pool on Sportlaan, the police said. At the swimming pool, an officer posted at the door and there were four security guards. Parents and caregivers were asked to pick up the children there.
The Special Interventions Service (DSI) is the umbrella service that is in charge of national operations of the special police and defense units. The DSI is part of the National Unit of the National Police and is deployed to intervene quickly and adequately in the event of a terrorist attack or other violent disruption of public order and safety for which the regular police are insufficiently equipped.