Police confirm that a man shot on the Alexander Dumaslaan in Amsterdam-Zuidoost died from his injuries. Witnesses say the victim was a man convicted on multiple counts of manslaughter in an incident over 20 years ago at a sex club in Haarlem. The former Ajax football hooligan had picked up his seven-year-old daughter from primary school moments before he himself was shot dead.
The shooting was first reported at about 2:10 p.m. on Thursday. Emergency services immediately dispatched police and paramedics to the scene along with a trauma team traveling by helicopter. Police also used a helicopter as part of the investigation, and were using specially-trained dogs at the crime scene.
No arrests were immediately announced, but authorities said they were searching for a someone aged 20-25, standing between 1.8 and 1.9 meters in height, with a medium-dark skin complexion. The suspect was wearing a black parka-style jacket and jeans. “Several units are still looking for the suspect, who may have fled in the direction of the Dolingadreef,” police said 45 minutes after the shooting.
Witnesses and area residents told newspaper Het Parool that 56-year-old Martin van de Pol was gunned down on the street. He met his daughter after her primary school, De Schakel, let students leave for the day. He was ambushed about a hundred meters away from there, and shot in the head, the newspaper reported.
Neighbors told the newspaper it was a common sight to see Van de Pol walking with his daughter after school. He was well known in the neighborhood. Authorities did not confirm that Van de Pol was killed in the incident, pending notification of next of kin.
For his role in the deaths of four people tied to the Hell’s Angels in 2000, the gang had planned to eventually get their revenge, the Telegraaf reported at the time.
Club Esther quadruple murder
Court records show Van de Pol was one of two men convicted in the early morning February 20, 2000 shooting at Club Esther, a sex club in Haarlem, where a full member and three prospective members of the Hell’s Angels were killed. The case was initially reported as a brawl that started when a female bartender refused to have sex with one of them, Rob Takken. He then pulled a gun, but another man, boyfriend of the bartender Joi L., fired first using a weapon left by the club’s owner.
L., now 56, was believed to have killed Takken and another of the four men, and Van de Pol was thought to be responsible for the other two. Witnesses also told newspapers that the incident could have been retribution for another murder eight years earlier.
Van de Pol and co-defendant L. said they thought that if one victim was armed, all four of them were, and that they were defending themselves and others in the club by slaying the four men. The court rejected this in April 2001 and sentenced Van de Pol to life in prison for the Club Esther killings, and L. to ten years as he was diagnosed as having schizophrenia.
The following year, an appellate court said it found it plausible that one of the victims escalated the brawl at the bar and created the life threatening situation by pulling out a gun and aiming it at Van de Pol and L. It said that both suspects were responsible for all four deaths, but that killing Takken was a possible case of self defense. It also agreed that Van de Pol was acting mainly out of fear, and thus reduced the convictions from murder to manslaughter.
They were both given 15 years in prison on appeal, and L. was also ordered to undergo psychiatric treatment, court records show. L. was still in treatment earlier this week, the Haarlems Dagblad wrote. He was in court when family members of the victims asked a judge to ban him from visiting the municipalities of Haarlem and Gouda, which the court deemed unnecessary.
Football hooliganism, drugs, extortion
After his early release from prison, Van de Pol became a prominent figure among a violent crew of Ajax football supporters, even providing bodyguard services for some players. According to the Parool, Van de Pol was rumored to be connected to drug trafficking and extortion schemes that included threatening fans who make money selling team merchandise.
He was also investigated in 2014 for an incident where fireworks were thrown on the field of Ajax rivals Feyenoord in Rotterdam. It was suspected that the incident was meant to delay the start of the match so that Van de Pol and other supporters could see the game in its entirety, the Telegraaf wrote that year.
His reign reportedly ended when another person challenged his leadership by punching Van de Pol in font of his crew in November 2015, less than a year after a popular supporters’ clubhouse was destroyed in an arson. Fed up with his antics, Parool reported that none of Van de Pol’s associates jumped to his defense at the time.
Van de Pol was also convicted in October 2017 for carrying a firearm, for which he was sentenced to time served and community service.