Police in Germany have shot dead a man who blasted his own mother in the head before taking a man and a nine-year-old boy hostage at a mall packed with Christmas shoppers.
Kerstin W., 62, called emergency services on the morning of 10th December saying that her son was going crazy and wanted to kill himself and others.
But when firefighters and police broke down the door to her flat in Dresden an hour later, they found her dead.
Her son, 40-year-old David W., is believed to have hit her before shooting her in the head.
After killing his mother, David W. took off towards the centre of Dresden in a white van.
He tried to storm the studios of Radio Dresden but, despite firing 10 shots, was unable to breach the security door.
All staff present at the time were able to escape through the back door.
After his failed attempt, David W. called Radio PSR in Leipzig, bizarrely telling the call recipient that he wanted to “speak live on the show” to protect people “from Satanists”.
The gunman later called police from a retail store in the Altmarkt-Galerie – an upmarket shopping centre – telling them he had taken a nine-year-old boy and the 38-year-old branch manager hostage.
More than an hour later, Special Task Force operators stormed the store and opened fire at David W.
He was later pronounced dead, but it is not yet clear whether he was killed by law enforcement or shot himself.
It transpired that he had picked up the boy he had been holding hostage from an acquaintance in Bautzen immediately after his mother’s killing.
The connection David W. had to the boy and the pretext under which he picked him up were unclear at the time of reporting.
The boy told police following his rescue that his captor had injured one of his friends.
However, it was quickly found that the alleged victim was healthy and was in a closed psychiatric ward in Dresden.
David W. had been regularly staying with his mother following his four-week internment in a psychiatric ward, where he had been admitted in mid-October.
Local media reported that he had “suffered from delusions” and “felt persecuted by Satan’s disciples”.
Investigations into Saturday’s events are ongoing.