The Netherlands, an outsider's view.

The Netherlands, an outsider's view.


Utrecht shooting suspect: “A lost boy with the IQ of a shrimp,” neighbour says to media

Police have arrested 37-year-old Gökem T. after the Monday shooting in Utrecht that left three people dead and seven others injured. People are questioning the motive behind the attack, mostly focusing on possible family violence or terrorism. But police already had him under their radar before the shooting took place. Since 2012, he has been involved in a series of crimes, ranging from bicycle theft to an alleged rape. 

Just earlier this month, T. paid a visit to an Utrecht court where he had to answer about a rape he allegedly committed in 2017. According to the case, he raped the victim several times and also hit the victim and threatened to burn her house. The victim said he had recently been freed from custody after violating conditions of an earlier release, a BBC report said.  “He’s not a terrorist but a psychopath,” the woman told Algemeen Dagblad. 

But this was not the only time T. interacted with law enforcement. In 2014, police questioned him as a suspect for attempted manslaughter. He was eventually cleared from this charge but was given a jail term for illegally possessing arms. And earlier this month, a court issued him jail time for shoplifting and burglary. 

Regarding T.’s family life, several reports have said he had a shaky marriage. A neighbour who grew up with him told De Volkskrant that the suspect did not attend the mosque and the attack had nothing to do with religion. “He’s a lost boy with the IQ of a shrimp,” the neighbour said.