The first attack took place at 11.30 am when a 48-year-old man, whom police have named as Yanquing T. stormed the offices of a law firm, stabbing a woman to death and seriously injuring a man. He then set fire to the offices, hampering attempts to identify the body. Another woman, who as an eyewitness, suffered less serious injuries.
A special police unit which stormed the building –also home to the city’s traffic office and motoring association ADAC – was unable to find the attacker.
The attacker then made his way to another law firm in Erkrath, around 12 kilometres east of Düsseldorf, where he killed another woman and injured a man at around 1pm.
Police said the man, a father-of-two, was out on bail after attacking his neighbour with a garden hoe after receiving a complaint about noise.
Police said there was a relationship between the two law firms and that Yanquing T. had been unhappy with the representation he was receiving on a legal matter. He had preciously accused one of his lawyers of fraud.
Police sent out a helicopter and snipers to find the man, who made it to Goch, near the Dutch border, 80 kilometres north of Düsseldorf.
— nrw-aktuell.tv (@nrwaktuelltv) February 28, 2014
He was arrested at a pizzeria there at around 4.30 pm after the owner called police. Police said he had injured the pizzeria owner's two daughters.
Yanquing T. was originally from Shanghai and worked in a restaurant. Police evacuated the Kindergarden attended by one of his children and stormed the apartment of his wife who was inside with the second child.
The man has reportedly admitted the charges and is due to appear in court in Düsseldorf.
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Kate Ferguson/Tom Bristow