The 78-year-old from Weilerbach, Rhineland-Palatinate, entered the village’s central surgery and opened fire on two doctors, aged 63 and 48. A 60-year-old assistant was also shot, but survived.
The pair were uncle and nephew, the pensioner was a patient at their clinic, a place the local mayor Horst Bonhagen described as an “institution” in the sleepy village.
Before the emergency services could arrive, the man fled the scene on his moped – firing shots at passersby and injuring a policeman. But shortly after he arrived home, his house was surrounded and stormed by armed police.
The unnamed pensioner was found dead inside, killed by the same gun he had used to shoot his doctors.
“The people of Weilerbach are distraught and in shock,” said Bonhagen.
Police are unsure of the motive behind the man’s motives. All that is known is that he was a patient at the clinic and very unwell, but the 4,600-inhabitant village is awash with rumours.
“He was an old, strange man,” said a neighbour. “He had argued with everyone and just wanted to be left alone.”
General opinion seemed to be, however, that the pensioner has shown no previous signs of violence.
Weilerbach is near the Ramstein US air base, where soldiers have been put on alert in case of a further incident.