Brussels shooting investigated as apparent terrorist attack

Two victims were fatally shot and a third was wounded, authorities said.


Two Swedish nationals were shot dead in Brussels on Monday night and another person was wounded in an attack that is being investigated as apparent terrorism. 

Belgian authorities said that the person responsible for the attack said on social media that he was inspired by the Islamic State militant group and that he was possibly motivated to attack Swedish people.

He was still on the loose, officials said in a statement and at a news conference.

The officials say they are stepping up their patrols and presence at Swedish sites of interest. 

 The National Prosecutor’s Office is leading the investigation.

Belgian authorities raised the threat level for Brussels to 4, the highest, and raised the general threat level for Belgium to 3.

In a video posted to social media and verified by NBC News, a person in an orange jacket on the street can be seen waving what appeared to be a gun amid the sound of gunfire. In a second video, the shooter enters a building and appears to open fire inside. An apparent victim falls to the floor. The shooter then appears to fire on the victim again.

A soccer game between Belgium and Sweden near the attack in the city’s center Monday night was canceled partway through the match. Authorities said the soccer stadium, Stade Roi Baudouin, was being evacuated.

Eric Van Der Sypt, a representative of the federal prosecutor’s office, said the wounded victim has serious injuries but is not in critical condition.

He said there is no indication that the attack was linked to the conflict in the Middle East.

This year there have been reports of Quran burnings in Sweden. In July, protesters broke into the Swedish Embassy compound in Iraq over the desecration of the Islamic holy book.

Belgium Prime Minister Alexander De Croo wrote on X that he had offered his condolences to his Swedish counterparts and was thinking of the victims' families and friends.

Belgium police at the site of a shooting in Brussels on Monday.Hatim Kaghat / AFP - Getty Images

De Croo also suggested that the attack could be linked to terrorism.

"As close partners the fight against terrorism is a joint one," he wrote.

Brussels Mayor Philippe Close said on X that police were "mobilizing to ensure security in and around our capital."

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on X: "Tonight, my thoughts are with the families of the two victims of the despicable attack in Brussels. I extend my heartfelt support to the Belgian police, so they swiftly apprehend the suspect. Together, we stand united against terror."

Tobias Billström, Sweden’s minister of foreign affairs, posted on X that Swedish authorities would "work closely with their Belgian partners to find the murderer."

The Brussels prosecutor’s office said that “an official investigation has been opened and many people are working on it." The office declined to comment on any details, including information about the victims, any suspect or a motive.