[QODLink]
Europe
Deaths in German town shootings
Police are unsure of why a woman opened fire at a German hospital, killing one and injuring a police officer.
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2010 21:42 GMT
A shootout erupted at the hospital and left several people killed or wounded, police said. [AFP]

A prosecutor says four people have died and a policeman has been seriously wounded in a town in southwestern Germany after an explosion in an apartment building and a shooting in the neighbouring hospital.

Authorities believe the two events, which took place on Sunday, are linked.

Loerrach prosecutor Dieter Inhofer said that two people were found dead in an apartment building that burst into flames after an explosion on Sunday afternoon.

Inhofer said a woman, allegedly armed with a weapon, was seen running from the blast into the neighbouring St. Elisabeth hospital, where she reportedly opened fire, killing a member of the hospital staff.

He  said the woman then turned her gun on officers responding to the shooting and was killed in an exchange of gunfire. One police officer was seriously wounded.

"There was a very heavy exchange of gunfire in the hospital that had the potential to be very dangerous, but based on what we know right now ... no one else was injured," Inhofer said.

Joachim Langanky, a police spokesman, said firefighters found the bodies of a girl aged three or four years old and a middle-aged man - not a woman as they first thought - in the burnt-out apartment.

Police suspect they may have died before the explosion and fire because both bodies bore gunshot wounds. They said there was no immediate motive for the shooting.

Loerrach, a town of some 48,000 people, lies near Germany's borders with France and Switzerland.

The weekend incident comes only days after the manslaughter trial opened in Stuttgart last week of the father of Tim Kretschmer, the teenager who in March 2009 shot dead 15 people before killing himself at his old school.

Joerg Kretschmer, a 51-year-old businessman, is accused of having violated gun laws because his 17-year-old son was able to take his 9mm Beretta pistol from his bedside for his killing spree in the southern town of Winnenden.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
Assam officials upset that WWII-era Stillwell Road won't be used in transnational highway linking four Asian nations.
Informal health centres are treating thousands of Syrian refugees in Turkey, easing the pressure on local hospitals.
Indonesian and Malaysian authorities are keeping a close eye on local supporters of the hard-line Middle East group.
Wastewater ponds dot the landscape in US states that produce gas; environmentalists say they’re a growing threat.
China President Xi Jinping's Mongolia visit brings accords in the areas of culture, energy, mining and infrastructure.
join our mailing list