Police seal off Leiden canal due to “gunman”… but it’s not what you think

On Sunday evening, Dutch police sealed off Kolfmakerssteeg on the Rapenburg in Leiden following reports of a man carrying a firearm. A police helicopter was even seen circling the Leiden city centre for a long time.

So what turned this peaceful student street into a scene from Criminal Minds? A woman reported seeing a man walking with a rifle inside a student house in Kolfmakersteeg and called 112, reports the Sleutelstad.

Multiple police units were on the scene and armoured officers urged the students to come out of their house with their hands on their heads. One of those students was the alleged gunman.

However, it turns out that the gun was actually an air rifle that belonged to a student’s grandfather. It was being used to kill a mouse in a trap to give it “his last push”. ๐Ÿ˜ณ

A big mouse-understanding

Once the police realised that the rifle was “a harmless piece of antique”, things calmed down and everyone went back into their homes at around 9 PM. The rifle wasn’t seized by police.

The woman who sounded the alarm didn’t recognise her neighbour across the street and when she saw what could be a potential firearm, she dialled the emergency number. Turns out, he had shaved his head and she thought he was a stranger.

“I know what he looks like. And it wasn’t my neighbour standing there with a gun. I saw a strange man load the gun, walk away, and then come back a moment later and load it again,” the woman told Omroep West. Let’s be honest, it’s a fair reason to panic.

But now the neighbour laughs about the incident and says that her neighbour has “forgiven me. The air rifle belonged to his grandfather, so he was very happy to hear from the police that he could keep it.ย All’s well that ends well, I guess.”

As for the outcome of the mouse, sadly it didn’t survive the air rifle. ๐Ÿ˜ญ

What do you think about the air rifle incident? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

Feature Image: Vera de Kok/Wikimedia Commons/CC4.0

Nicole Ogden ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ญ ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ
Hailing from the bustling city of Bangkok, Nicole is a Thai/American international student who came to the Netherlands to study linguistics. When she's not reading books or listening to true crime podcasts, she's practising her singing and guitar skills! She is also attempting to pick up the Dutch language (moeilijk).


  1. A working air rifle isnโ€™t a harmless antique and shouldnโ€™t be out in a public space. Granted, itโ€™s not an AK47, but people have been injured and even killed by air rifles.


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