Dutch crime reporter Peter R. De Vries has died just over a week after being shot in the street, his family and his employer RTL Netherlands news said on Thursday.
De Vries, who was 64, had been a frequent commentator on television crime programmes and a veteran reporter with sources in both law enforcement and the underworld.
The attack on a busy Amsterdam street prompted outrage across Europe, and on Thursday 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.
De Vries had received threats from the criminal underworld in the past in connection with several cases.
“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, the network who employed De Vries as crime reporter.
“He lived true to his motto: ‘On bended knee is no way to be free’,” his family said.
RTL Netherlands said: “Peter’s influence is stronger than any act of hate. We will continue to speak freely about abuses and injustice in society, just as he has done his whole life.”
In his tribute on Twitter, Rutte said: “We owe it to Peter R. de Vries to make sure justice is served. We cannot and will not ever tolerate this in the Netherlands. This act of cowardice can’t go unpunished.”
Dutch Justice Minister Ferd Grapperhaus said before the announcement of De Vries’ death on Thursday that an investigation would examine whether the government had provided the reporter with proper security.
Photo: Crime reporter Peter R. de Vries . EPA-EFE/BAS CZERWINSKI