Photo: Marnik Aerts

Escaped Dutch prisoner shot dead in gunfight with police

Police in Brecht, in the Antwerp Kempen District, have shot dead a prisoner, who had just escaped from a Dutch youth penitentiary.  Dutch police in Breda had alerted the Belgian authorities to the threat.

Police tried to stop the 21-year-old, who escaped from Breda, around 4PM on Wednesday. The man failed to stop, and a gunfight ensued.  Witnesses claim up to 30 shots were fired.  The Dutch prison inmate was killed in the gunfire.   Both the prisoner and the police fired shots.  The precise circumstances of the man’s death are the subject of an investigation.  An examining magistrate has been appointed to look into the matter.

A spokesman for the Dutch prison service explained the prisoner was working outside the jail when he absconded.  “In the process he took two prison staff hostage and crossed the border into Belgium in their company.  The prisoner released his hostages unharmed on Belgian soil. It’s unclear which firearm the young man was carrying,” said Tom Wisseborn.

The young man was incarcerated in a youth penitentiary where prisoners up to the age of 21 and serving no longer than two years are held.

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