Crime reporter Peter R de Vries, known for his work in exposing the Dutch underworld, was shot and seriously wounded on a street in Amsterdam on Tuesday.
“Peter R de Vries was shot down in Lange Leidsedwarsstraat,” police said in a statement, referring to a street near one of the city’s largest public squares.
He was taken to a nearby hospital in “serious condition”, police said, calling for eyewitnesses to come forward.
“Multiple emergency services have been summoned and police are searching for the suspect or suspects.”
The newspaper Het Parool cited witnesses as saying de Vries had been shot five times, to the head and body. The paper published an image of the scene with several people gathered around a person lying on the ground.
An unknown assailant shot the 64-year-old de Vries as he left a TV studio in the busy Leidseplein square area at about 7:30pm (17:30 GMT), according to media reports. De Vries had been taking part in a live broadcast shortly before the attack.
Subjected to threats
De Vries is a celebrity in the Netherlands, known for his investigative work following the 1983 kidnapping of beer magnate Freddy Heineken. He became known in the United States for his work investigating the disappearance of teenager Natalee Holloway in 2006.
De Vries has been subjected to threats from the criminal underworld in the past in connection with several cases.
In 2013 Willem Holledeer, the Heineken kidnapper, was convicted of making threats against De Vries. Holledeer is currently serving a life sentence for his involvement in five murders.
In 2019 Ridouan Taghi, currently on trial for murder and drug trafficking, took the unusual step of making a public statement denying reports that he had threatened to have De Vries killed.