Peter R. de Vries, celebrity Dutch crime reporter, has passed away just over a week after being shot in a busy Amsterdam street, his family and his employer RTL Netherlands said on Thursday, prompting an outpouring of grief and anger at home and abroad.
De Vries, 64, was well-known for his television programmes, in which he often worked with victims’ families and tirelessly pursued unsolved cases. He had received threats in the past from the criminal underworld in connection with his work.
Two men who were arrested on a highway shortly after the July 6 shooting, one of them a Polish national, remain in custody as murder suspects.
“Peter fought till the end but wasn’t able to win this battle. He died surrounded by the people who loved him,” his family said in a statement published by RTL Netherlands.
“He lived true to his motto: On bended knee is no way to be free.”
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte vowed to track down whoever was behind the shooting of a man he described as a determined and fearless reporter. The head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said more must be done to protect investigative journalists.
After hearing of his death, people gathered to lay flowers at the scene of the shooting, Dutch news agency ANP reported.