German mall hostage drama ends in detained suspect’s death

BERLIN, 11 Dec 2022:

A man who took two people hostage at a shopping centre in the eastern German city of Dresden yesterday has died in custody, police said.

“The 40-year-old man was fatally wounded in the course of his arrest and the release of the hostages,” police said in a statement, adding that the specific circumstances were still being investigated.

Earlier, a police spokesman had confirmed the two hostages had been rescued unharmed.

According to the newspaper Bild, the assailant was seriously wounded, adding that it was unclear whether he self-harmed or was injured during the arrest.

The man, a German national, reportedly killed his 62-year-old mother yesterday morning in a neighbourhood about 7km from the city centre.

He then tried to break into the Radio Dresden station. Despite firing at the fire door at the main entrance, he was unable to gain access.

“Fortunately, all the staff were able to get to safety,” Radio Dresden head Tino Utassy, who alerted the police, told the newspaper.

When officers arrived, the suspect fled in his vehicle and barricaded himself in the shopping centre, where he took a woman and a child hostage.

Police closed access to the shopping centre and the Christmas market, and have asked the public to avoid the area.