The hostage-taking in the Altmarkt-Galerie shopping center in downtown Dresden has ended. Around noon, the police managed to contact the hostage-taker, and a little later the emergency services overpowered the man - who was fatally injured. The hostages were not injured on the outside, the police said on Saturday.
A police spokesman explained the motive of the alleged perpetrator that the man had been very conspicuous in his mental behavior. "We're most likely assuming a mental illness." Other than that, the police were not aware of anything.
According to police findings, the 40-year-old killed his 62-year-old mother in an apartment building in the Prohlis district of Dresden in the morning. Around 7:20 a.m., the police found the lifeless woman. An emergency doctor who was called could only determine their death.
Afterwards, the man is said to have gone to an office building in which the "Radio Dresden" station is also based. The man tried to destroy a door and break in, the broadcaster's managing director, Tino Utassy, told the German Press Agency. After he failed to get into the rooms, he shot through a hole in the door. "Fortunately, the staff had the presence of mind and then ran out through a second exit and fled," Utassy said. According to the broadcaster, all were unharmed. Radio Dresden promised them all the help they needed. The office building near the city center is being searched by criminalists.
The third crime scene was the Dresden Altmarkt gallery. There, according to the police, the man took an employee and a child hostage. Both the shopping center and all adjacent areas had been evacuated. The Striezelmarkt, one of the most famous Christmas markets in Germany, was also closed for the time being. The police asked you to avoid the city center, it said in a press release from the emergency services in the morning. Because of the operation, there were also traffic restrictions in the city center. Local public transport is also affected, according to the police.
Closures in the city center were lifted in the early afternoon. According to the police, the Altmarkt-Galerie initially remained closed.
Saxony's Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer expressed his condolences to the victims. "I am relieved that this threatening situation could be ended. I would like to thank all the Saxon police forces involved for their decisive and prudent action," Kretschmer wrote on Twitter on Saturday. And he added: "We mourn a human life." In his thoughts he is with the victims of this day and hopes "that they can discuss and process these terrible experiences together with their fellow human beings."
Dresden's Lord Mayor Dirk Hilbert was also concerned about the hostage-taking in the state capital and thanked the emergency services. "This act shows how fragile pre-Christmas contemplation and light-heartedness can be," said the FDP politician, as the city of Dresden announced on Twitter on Saturday. His thoughts are with everyone who was in danger in the Altmarkt-Galerie shopping center and in the Ammonhof office building. "I would like to thank all emergency services for their professional action," said Hilbert.