A suspected armed robber died and seven others were arrested Wednesday following spectacular firefights with dozens of Dutch police officers who chased them along roads and across a meadow near Amsterdam, police said.
The drama began in the afternoon when armed hooded men dressed in black allegedly opened fire at a vehicle transporting goods from or near a precious metals business north of the Dutch capital.
Police said the suspects then fled in at least two vehicles toward the small village of Broek in Waterland, with dozens of police officers wearing armoured vests in hot pursuit.
Several Dutch media said the vehicle contained gold or diamonds worth up to 50 million euros.
"It's a situation that does not happen every year," a police spokesman said during a press conference.
Video from witnesses shared on Dutch media showed a car smash into a garden behind a home and the suspects, dressed in black and wearing balaclavas, jump out and head to a neighbouring meadow.
The images also showed helicopters hovering overhead as the suspects and police exchanged fire into the start of the evening.
Smoke rose into the dark skies from a car that was ablaze.
A police spokesman confirmed that the officers had used their firearms.
The police said that two suspects were wounded, including one who died, though it was not clear whether he had been shot by a policeman.
None of the witnesses were hurt in the firefights, the mayor of Amsterdam said.