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Leipzig hostage-taker wanted attention for malpractice suit

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Leipzig hostage-taker wanted attention for malpractice suit
Photo: DPA
13:35 CEST+02:00
The armed man who took hostages at a Leipzig clothing store on Tuesday was trying to draw attention to his suffering through alleged medical malpractice, the city's public prosecutor's office said on Wednesday.

“He wanted the greatest amount of attention possible for the pain supposedly inflicted upon him,” Ricardo Schulz said.

The 41-year-old has told authorities that some time ago he was mistreated by a doctor with whom he has been engaged in a legal battle since.

Customers in the branch of the fashion retail chain H&M called the police around 12:30 pm after the man entered the store near the city's central Marktplatz. After threatening the hostages with a pistol and holding them for several hours, the man gave himself up to police in the late afternoon.

His nine-millimetre handgun was loaded, according to the authorities.

“He could theoretically have shot nine times,” Schulz said.

A few hostages were able to flee the chaotic scene, which forced the authorities to surround the shop and evacuat nearby buildings. Members of the state police made contact with the 41-year-old man, who then quickly surrendered.

Hendrik Alpen, a spokesman for H&M, said the company had sent counsellors to support customers and employees after the frightening incident.

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