Netherlands shooting: Man gunned down next to school playground in Zaandam

A huge manhunt is underway after the perpetrators fled the scene

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The Independent Online

A man has been shot dead metres from a school in the Netherlands by a masked gunman dressed in black.

Children were playing on their lunch break when a group of men pulled up and opened fire in the city of Zaandam, which is under 10 miles away from Amsterdam.

Warning: Some readers may find the picture below distressing

One of the assailants was caught on camera pointing what appeared to be an automatic weapon at the victim but escaped before police arrived at the scene.



The 43-year-old victim, from Amsterdam, has been locally named as Lucas Boom and was reportedly an associate of notorious Dutch gang leader Willem Holleeder.

Witnesses told local media that they heard up to 15 shots after Boom got out of his car next to the playground and ran down a side street.

There were reportedly up to five armed men involved and the gunman seen in the picture "finished the job" as Boom lay in the road.

A police spokesperson said that officers received reports of a shooting at round 12.20pm local time (11.20am BST) and attended to find a dead man in the road.

Witnesses said the perpetrators fled in a brown van, which police are working to trace.

Main roads between Zaandam and the capital city were crowded with officers trying to trace the culprits  this afternoon and the crime scene remained shut off while forensic investigations continued.