The motive behind Fouad L.’s shooting of lecturer Jurgen Damen remains unclear, as Damen was not affiliated with the Examination Board. Sleijfer confirmed that in May, Erasmus MC was informed by the Public Prosecution Service that the student had been convicted of animal cruelty, and that the Public Prosecution Service questioned whether he was a suitable person to practise as a physician.

‘Not unwilling’

In light of this, the Examination Board initiated discussions. Although L. had earned enough credits to be awarded his medical degree, the Board added the condition that he undergo a psychological assessment and that a psychologist was to declare whether he was suitable to practise as a physician.

According to the Chair, L. was ‘not unwilling’ to comply with these conditions, but he failed to follow up on them. “It remains unknown whether he actually consulted a psychologist”, Sleijfer wrote.

Aside from the letter from the Public Prosecution Service, Sleijfer stated that there were no indications that the student posed a danger or should be denied access to Erasmus MC.

Never the same

In his statement, Sleijfer also expressed his thoughts on the suffering experienced by the hospital’s staff, students, patients and visitors. “Today, we have begun the difficult process of trying to resume normalcy as much as possible. Erasmus MC is deeply shaken by the events of 28 September. We have lost a beloved lecturer due to an incomprehensible act. Jurgen Damen was a well-known figure in the educational world of Rotterdam. Our hearts go out to Jurgen’s family. Erasmus MC will never be the same again.”

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