Van Gogh was shot and stabbed by Mohammed Bouyeri while cycling to work on 2 November 2004 at about 9 o’clock in the morning. Bouyeri also injured some bystanders and left on the scene a note containing death threats to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who went into hiding. The note also threatened Western countries and Jews, and referred to ideologies of the Egyptianorganization Takfir wal-Hijra.
Bouyeri, a 26-year-old Dutch-Moroccan citizen, was apprehended by police after a chase. Authorities alleged that he had terrorist ties with the Dutch Islamist Hofstad Network. He was charged with the attempted murder of several police officers and bystanders, illegal possession of a firearm, and conspiring to murder others, including Hirsi Ali. He was convicted at trial on 26 July 2005 and sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole.
The murder sparked outrage and grief throughout the Netherlands. Flowers, notes, drawings and other expressions of mourning were left at the scene of the murder.