Shooting in Forest was attempted kidnapping

A man was shot on Monday evening in the Brussels commune of Forest. The victim was taken to hospital but his life is not in danger. According to initial investigations, the perpetrators tried to kidnap the man. 

Images of the incident, suggesting an attempted kidnapping, had already been circulated by various media. On Tuesday, the Brussels public prosecutor's office confirmed the information.

The shooting is the fifth in the same area in the space of a few days. Last week, four shootings took place in the neighbouring municipality of Saint-Gilles, leaving one person dead. The prosecutor's office said it was not yet clear whether the Forest shooting was linked to the others.

"Yesterday evening on 19 February, at around 20.30, the police of Brussels-South received several calls after shots were fired on the Avenue Victor Rousseau in Forest," said Yasmina Vanoverschelde, spokesperson for the public prosecutor's office. 

The shooting is the fifth in the same area in the space of a few days © Belga
The shooting is the fifth in the same area in the space of a few days © Belga

"Upon arrival at the scene, police found an injured person near a bus stop. The emergency services were also present and administered first aid to the victim," she said.

The Brussels public prosecutor's office was informed and issued initial investigation orders. A judicial perimeter was set up and a ballistics expert and a forensic doctor were called in.

"According to the first indications of the investigation, it seems that several perpetrators tried to drag the victim into a car," Vanoverschelde said. "Violence was allegedly used in the process. The victim resisted."

"Shots were also fired during the incident and the victim sustained several injuries, including gunshot wounds. The victim was treated at the scene and transferred to hospital. His life is not in danger," Vanoverschelde said.

The suspects managed to flee and their car was recovered this morning, the prosecutor's office said. Further investigations will have to show whether the shooting is linked to the shootings in Saint-Gilles last week.


Police station in Forest, Brussels region © BELGA PHOTO THIERRY ROGE

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