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Germany: Police end hostage situation in Dresden mall

December 10, 2022

Police in the eastern German city said an armed man had taken people hostage in a shopping mall. The body of the suspect's mother was also found earlier in the day.

Police vans outside the Altmarktgalerie in Dresden
Police were sent to a shopping mall following reports of an armed man in the vicinityImage: Jörg Schurig/dpa ZB/picture alliance

Germany hostage situation over

Police ended a hostage situation in a shopping mall in the center of the eastern German city of Dresden on Saturday morning following an operation that lasted several hours.

Police wrote on Twitter, "All-clear! The hostage situation in Dresden is over!"

Two hostages were also rescued unharmed.

Authorities reportedly arrested the injured hostage-taker. They had made telephone contact with the man after he allegedly blockaded himself in a room in the mall.

Police later confirmed that the suspect died after suffering "fatal injuries" sustained during the attack.

Dresden hostage situation: DW's Benjamin Alvarez-Grube

What do we know about the hostage situation?

A large police presence was deployed at the Altmarktgalerie mall, which was cordoned off from the public.

"The Dresden Police Department is currently carrying out an operation in downtown Dresden. The background is the suspicion of a hostage situation," the department said in a statement.

Police also said that the nearby Striezelmarkt Christmas market had been closed and asked locals to stay away from the area. Authorities reopened the city center after the hostage situation ended, but the shopping mall remained closed to the public.

They later confirmed that the body of a 62-year-old woman was found in an apartment in the neighborhood of Prohlis and that the woman was the mother of the 40-year-old suspect. Police described the suspect as mentally unstable.

Several local media outlets reported an armed man had first tried to break into the Radio Dresden building, firing his weapon before heading to the Altmarktgalerie mall.

The head of the radio station, Tino Utassey, said that the suspect had tried to break in and then fired his gun through a hole in the door, but all the employees were able to escape via another exit. He added that they were doing ok after the traumatic event and that the station would do everything so that they get any necessary help.

People walk as police officers secure the area at a Christmas market in Dresden
A Saturday morning two weeks before Christmas was expected to be a busy time for central Dresden and its Christmas marketImage: Matthias Rietschel/REUTERS

ab/ar (dpa, Reuters)