Armed suspect holds hostage at Amsterdam Apple Store

Associated Press

The Hague, Netherlands – An armed person was holed up in Amsterdam’s Apple Store with at least one hostage Tuesday night in an hours-long standoff with scores of police massed outside.

Police said several people had managed to leave the building during the hostage-taking but declined to give more details about the situation in the popular store. Local newspaper Het Parool reported that “dozens” of people were able to leave.

The Apple store is seen in a Google street view off Leidseplein square in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Earlier Amsterdam police said in a tweet that “somebody with a firearm is in the store, police are at the location with many (specialized) units to bring the situation under control.”

Police cleared and sealed off the nearby Leidseplein square and urged people living there or in shops or cafes nearby to remain indoors. The square is ringed by bars and restaurants and close to one of the Dutch capital’s main shopping streets.

As police lines were set up to keep people away from the store, a helicopter could be heard hovering overhead. The police asked people not to publish images or livestream the hostage situation “for the safety of the people involved and our deployment.”

Earlier, video posted on social media appeared to show an armed person in the store, apparently holding somebody else. It was not clear how many people were in the store.

Local broadcaster AT5 suggested that the standoff was the result of an attempted armed robbery. AT5 said witnesses reported hearing shots fired.

A spokesman for Apple in the Netherlands did not respond to requests seeking comment.