Heroic Brit Apple store shopper praised for brave act that ended gunman’s siege

A 44-year-old British man has been praised as a hero after taking action to bring a hostage situation to a head.

The Brit shopper, who is yet to be identified, was taken hostage by a gunman wearing a fake bomb vest in an hours-long siege at an Apple Store in Amsterdam.

The suspected hostage taker asked the police for water, which was delivered by a robot through the front door of the shop.

After several hours in handcuffs and having a gun held to his head, the Brit saw his change and made a break for it, legging it from the shop.

The gunman, reportedly a 27 year old man from Amsterdam, decided to chase the shopper down the street—leaving the hostage taker vulnerable to armed Dutch police, who were able to make a 'split-second' decision to knock him down in their car before descending on him with rifles and a bomb defusal robot.

The hostage taker, who has a criminal record, was then arrested and taken to hospital where he is being treated for 'serious injuries' after being hit by the police car.

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"The hostage played a heroic role by forcing a breakthrough," Amsterdam police chief Frank Pauw said. "Otherwise, this could have been a long night."

The gunman was reportedly able to speak when he was arrested. He had called the police himself and demanded 200 million Euros (£166 million) in cryptocurrency as well as safe passage from the store after taking hostages in what began as an armed robbery.

Witnesses around the store reported hearing gunshots, while videos emerged of the gunman holding a pistol to their heads in the window of the shop.

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Over the course of the five-hour hostage situation, around 70 people were able to leave the store, none of whom were injured.

It took place in Leidseplein, a busy downtown area of Amsterdam, which was cordoned off for hours. Police apologised for the noise and inconvenience to those living in the area as a helicopter hovered overhead.

"We are so incredibly grateful and relieved that our employees and customers in Amsterdam are safe after this terrifying experience," Apple said in a statement, thanking Dutch police for "exceptional work."

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