Two men have been arrested and identified in connection with a shooting in Amsterdam that left a famous Dutch crime journalist fighting for his life.
Peter R. de Vries was shot in the head Tuesday in broad daylight near one of Amsterdam’s busiest plazas just minutes after he left a TV studio. He remains in critical condition, according to Dutch law enforcement.
Delano G, 21, and Kamil Pawel E, 35, were taken into custody Tuesday in the vicinity of the Hague the same day as the shooting as they drove a “getaway car,” authorities said. Their last names have not been released according to Dutch law.
Delano is an aspiring rapper born in Rotterdam who competed on So You Think You Can Dance as a teenager, according to reports. Police believe it was he who opened fire on de Vries.
Kamil Pawel E, 35, was born in Poland and was living in the city of Maurik with his son, daughter, and pregnant wife before his arrest. According to Dutch media, he listed “assembly work” as his occupation. Police say he drove the getaway vehicle, and Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reports that he was arrested on July 1 for making threats with a firearm, but he was later released.
De Vries had been acting as a confidant and counsel to a star witness in a high-profile murder of an alleged drug kingpin, Ridouan Taghi. De Vries had reportedly been helping the witness, Nabil B, prepare for testimony. The trial has already seen its fair share of bloodshed: Nabil’s brother and lawyer were assassinated in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
Taghi previously made a public statement asserting that he bore de Vries no ill will, and the reporter had refused offers of security from the Dutch government.
De Vries has received an outpouring of support as he has undergone treatment for his gunshot wounds. The mayor of Amsterdam, the prime minister of The Netherlands, and the country’s justice minister have all praised his commitment to the truth and expressed hope for his recovery.
Americans may know de Vries best for his work investigating the disappearance of Natalee Holloway in 2005, for which he won an international Emmy.
Holloway’s mother Beth, who has kept in touch with the reporter since they worked together, previously told The Daily Beast, “It’s hard to absorb and process that something this horrific could happen. It’s actually devastating. I’m just praying that he will pull through.”