German police end hostage situation in Dresden

A woman was killed and police evacuated a mall and ordered a Christmas market nearby to close

Security forces secure the area at a Christmas market in Dresden, Germany. Reuters
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A man suspected of killing his mother and later taking two people hostage in the city of Dresden has died.

Police ended the hostage situation in the German city on Saturday, after evacuating a shopping mall and shutting a famous Christmas market.

Police initially said they were communicating with the suspect before announcing shortly after noon that the hostage situation was over.

“The suspect died during the operation,” Dresden police later wrote on Twitter. “The 40-year-old suffered fatal injuries while … the hostages were freed.”

Dresden police have not said whether the man had been killed by police or died from self-inflicted injuries.

The force said the hostages were “outwardly uninjured.”

The 40-year-old German was suspected of killing his 62-year-old mother. Police had found the woman dead in another part of the city early Saturday.

Earlier in the day authorities had evacuated Altmarktgalerie Mall after an armed man reportedly took people hostage in the shopping centre.

Police ordered the Striezelmarkt Christmas market to close nearby and urged people to avoid the area.

Newspaper Bild reported that an armed man had killed a woman, then stormed a local radio station and fired shots before fleeing into a shopping mall, where he took several hostages.

Police vehicles are parked around a cordoned off area at the Altmarktgalerie mall. AP

Radio Dresden reported that the man had tried to enter a building where the broadcaster is based, near the city’s main train station. He reportedly fired several shots before fleeing, according to Radio Dresden.

Earlier this week police busted members of a shadowy German movement known as the Reichsbuerger, or Citizens of the Reich, who were accused of plotting a far-right coup to overthrow the government, kill politicians and establish a military regime.

In total, 25 people were arrested, including an ex-MP and a minor prince, in early morning raids on Wednesday in Germany, Italy and Austria.

Reichsbuerger's followers reject the legitimacy of Germany’s modern democracy and long for the return of a pre-war Reich, the term used for the German state until 1945.

Updated: December 10, 2022, 6:32 PM