A gunman killed a woman in the German city of Dresden today before storming a shopping centre and taking hostages.
Cops shut the famous Striezelmarkt Christmas market in the city for several hours and urged people to avoid the area, The Sun reports.
According to BILD, an armed man killed a woman, tried to storm a local radio station and fired shots before fleeing into a shopping mall where he took several hostages.
Radio Dresden boss Tino Utassy said: “Fortunately, all employees were able to get to safety.”
It’s understood the gunman barricaded himself inside a pharmacy at the Altmarkt-Galerie shopping centre.
Police said negotiators spoke to the 40-year-old suspect over the phone before armed cops stormed the building and detained the gunman.
According to reports, two hostages – a woman and child – were freed unharmed, but the suspect was said to be seriously injured.
“We arrested the 40-year-old hostage taker,” police spokesman Thomas Geithner said.
“There are now two people in our care who were in his power.”
Cops confirmed the gunman’s 62-year-old mother was found dead in an apartment in the nearby neighbourhood of Prohlis.
Dresden’s Striezelmarkt is considered to be the oldest Christmas market in Germany – and the oldest in the world.
It was opened as a one-day market in 1434 and now attracts three million visitors from across the world every year.
The market was evacuated and shut during the hostage situation before it was allowed to reopen after police said there was “no longer a dangerous situation” in the city.
This article originally appeared in The Sun and has been reproduced with permission