Mayor Bas Eenhoorn of Alphen aan den Rijn, a suburb southwest of Amsterdam, said the attacker used an automatic weapon in the shooting at the Ridderhof mall. He said children were among the victims and that four of those wounded were in serious condition. He said several malls in the town were evacuated, but he would not elaborate on the reason.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Queen Beatrix issued statements expressing shock at the incident and sympathy for the victims and their families.
Violent attacks are rare in the Netherlands. Two years ago, a man rammed his car at a Dutch royal parade into crowds celebrating the annual Queen's Day, killing eight people including himself and wounding at least nine others.