Shortly after the attack on Peter R. de Vries, Bergerent distributed a description of the shooter. He is said to be a small and slender man, who wore a dark green coat with camouflage spots and a black hat at the time of the shooting. Alex’s friends recognized him in the description and sent a picture of him in a WhatsApp group with the caption “Haha, Alex is the culprit”. In turn, the group members posted the photo more and suddenly the photo went viral on the Telegram chat service. “It started out as a joke, but it got a little out of hand,” Alex said.
The group then called the police themselves. A friendly local police officer will come to them, so they can clarify the whole situation. To their great surprise, eight heavily armed police officers stood in the square 20 minutes later. Alex and his four friends had to lie on the floor and were searched. After the inspection, they explained what had happened. The police believed them immediately, in part because they shot themselves.
Dutch police emphasize that such jokes are unacceptable: “After such an attack, we have to process a huge amount of information in a very short period of time, and we can’t deal with this.”
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