The shooting took place around 3.30 last night. "Police went to the spot immediately and found five bullet casings on the Astridplein. Using CCTV footage, we managed to apprehend two suspects", explains Kristof Aerts of the Antwerp judicial authorities.
One suspect is a 38-year-old from Antwerp who was in the possession of a gun. He was arrested at the nearby De Coninckplein and is being questioned.
Another person was arrested in the northern district Antwerpen Noord where a suspicious lorry was intercepted. The truckload - coffee at first sight - will be examined as it may also contain drugs. It is not sure yet whether the suspect was actually involved in the shooting.
This latest shooting is almost certainly linked to the drugs crime scene, the judicial authorities say. Kristof Aerts labelled the situation as "disturbing and a major source of concern, since the Astridplein is a public place." There have been about 20 different incidents in Antwerpen since early July, most of them are probably drugs-related.
The city of Antwerp is considering deploying more mobile cameras and more police in the street, in uniforms or in plain clothing, to put a stop to the violent incidents. The Flemish nationalists of N-VA, the party of Antwerp mayor Bart De Wever, wants a special commission of the Interior Ministery to come together as soon as possible to discuss the issue.
This is becoming a major source of concern