2010 Lörrach hospital shooting

On 19 September 2010 in the small town of Lörrach, Germany, 41-year-old Sabine Radmacher killed her five-year-old son and the boy's father, her ex-partner in her flat. After setting part of the building on fire, she crossed the street to St. Elisabethen Hospital [de], where she shot and stabbed one nurse, killing him, and injuring three people with gunshots, including a police officer.[5] Soon after, Radmacher was fatally shot by SEK units.[6][7]

Lörrach hospital shooting
Crime scene at St. Elisabethen-Krankenhaus Hospital (20 September 2010)
LocationSt. Elisabethen-Krankenhaus Hospital
Lörrach, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Date19 September 2010
c. 6:00 p.m. – c. 6:39 p.m. (UTC+2)
Attack type
Mass shooting, arson, stabbing, shooting spree, police shootout, familicide
Deaths4[2] (including the perpetrator)[3]
PerpetratorSabine Radmacher[4]



Lörrach is located near the Swiss and French border and due to its location, it is a vital industrial part of Trinational Eurodistrict of Basel. The town's crime rates were on a steady decline since 2000 and although overall rates were above the district average, the statistics remained generally below the national median.[8]

In March 2009, a similar gun rampage had occurred in nearby Winnenden, when teenage gunman Tim Kretschmer killed twelve people at his former school before killing three civilians and then committing suicide in Wendlingen.[9] The incident triggered off a debate in Germany on tougher gun ownership laws. On 16 September 2010 – only three days before the Lörrach rampage – the boy's father had to appear in court on a charge of failure to securely store his gun.[10]


The attack location

The initial murders occurred shortly before 6:00 p.m. CEST inside Sabine Radmacher's apartment on Markus-Pflüger-Straße, which doubled as her lawyer's office. Radmacher killed her 44-year-old husband with two gunshots in the head and neck after he entered. Afterwards, she knocked their son unconscious with several blows to the head before suffocating him with a plastic bag. Radmacher then covered the rooms of her apartment with 70 liters of a mixture of nitro thinner, gasoline, and ethanol before setting a fire, causing an explosion, due to which 15 people, all residents of the same building, suffered the effects of smoke inhalation.[11][12][13][14]

At approximately 6:04 p.m., Radmacher crossed the street to the St. Elisabethen Hospital, carrying 300 rounds of ammunition with her. Neighbours later stating that she appeared calm and "strolled" at a leisurely pace. She heavily injured two passerby with gunshots, striking one in the back and grazing the other in the head, before entering the hospital through the front entrance. First reponders in the form of the fire department arrived two minutes later. After taking the stairs up to the first floor to the gynaecology ward, Radmacher killed a 56-year-old surgical nurse with three shots in the head and numerous stab wounds. The nurse had prevented her from going further into the floor and is credited with saving lives through this action. Radmacher also injured a police officer, who was privately at the hospital, with a shot in the kneecap. Police arrived shortly after and exchanged fire with Radmacher for around ten minutes before SEK killed her with 17 gunshots.[5][15][16][17]



The shooting led to renewed political discourse over gun control in Germany, particularly tighter regulations over the firearms that can be accessed with a gun permit in relation to Schützenverein membership, as well as the storage of weapons and ammunition.

50 police officers involved in the response unit received psychological counselling, 17 of whom required "intensive care".[13]



Police identified the shooter as 41-year-old lawyer Sabine Radmacher. She was later also connected to the apartment explosion.[9][15]

Radmacher was born in Ludwigshafen, Rhineland-Palatinate in 1969. She previously worked as a paralegal for a law firm until December 2009, when she earned her lawyer's licence. She was described as a sporting markswoman and had used a .22 calibre Walther GSP during the rampage, with another three small calibre firearms being recovered from the scene. Several long rifles were also found at an acquaintance's home, whom she had entrusted the weapons for safekeeping. The acquaintance, a hobby hunter, also stated that Radmacher voiced an interest in becoming a licenced hunter before the killings. The sporting club in Mosbach she was signed under later stated that Radmacher had not been a member since 1996, yet was able to keep her sporting weapons.[15][18]

Before moving to Lörrach following her separation, Radmacher lived in Häg-Ehrsberg. Since June 2010, she was separated from her husband Wolfgang Radmacher, who kept custody over their son at her request, but the pair had arranged for their son to live with his mother on the weekends. Radmacher's husband had been at her apartment to fetch their son the day of the shootings.[13]

Radmacher's motive was not ascertained by police, who ruled out a custody dispute.[16] Investigators assume that she planned the fire in advance, as indicated by the amount of accelerant she hoarded and used for the arson. Neighbours variously described Radmacher as a confident, friendly and ambitious woman who dressed sharply and drove a Mercedes she bought with her own money, while others noted that she was surly and erratic with "strange priorities", having clashed with her old employer who threatened to sue her, over which contacted a journalist to publish an account, which was described as "incoherent". Due to her targeting of the St. Elisabethen Hospital, investigators also considered possible trauma stemming from pregnancy loss, as Radmacher experienced the miscarriage of a previous child in the 16th week at the clinic in 2004. In 2006, she applied for a position in management at the clinic, but it was not accepted.[12][13]


  1. ^ "Waffenrecht: Nach dem Amoklauf - Königsdisziplin der Lobbyisten" [Weapons Law: After the Rampage - The Lobbyists’ Supreme Discipline] (in German). Süddeutsche Zeitung. 22 September 2010. Retrieved 26 September 2022.
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  3. ^ "Woman opens fire in German town, four killed". Reuters. 20 September 2010. Retrieved 26 September 2022.
  4. ^ "Dræberadvokaten kvalte sin søn" [Killer Attorney Strangled Her Son] (in Danish). Ekstra Bladet. 21 September 2010. Retrieved 23 September 2010.
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  11. ^ Michel, Nadine (2010-09-20). "Amoklauf in Lörrach: In Ruhe auf den Kopf geschossen". Die Tageszeitung: taz (in German). ISSN 0931-9085. Retrieved 2024-06-08.
  12. ^ a b "Amoklauf Lörrach: Die kinderliebe Mutter, die ihren Sohn erschlug - WELT". DIE WELT (in German). 2015-10-03. Retrieved 2024-06-08.
  13. ^ a b c d Obermeyer, Justus (2020-09-19). "Zehn Jahre nach dem Amoklauf von Lörrach: Das geschah am 19. September 2010". SÜDKURIER Online (in German). Retrieved 2024-06-08.
  14. ^ Jüttner, Julia (2010-09-20). "Amoklauf: Die Todesnacht von Lörrach". Der Spiegel (in German). ISSN 2195-1349. Retrieved 2024-06-08.
  15. ^ a b c "Fatal shooting at German hospital". BBC News. British Broadcasting Corporation. 19 September 2010. Archived from the original on 20 September 2010. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
  16. ^ a b "Lörrach: Polizei findet weitere Waffen der Amokläuferin". Der Spiegel (in German). 2010-09-23. ISSN 2195-1349. Retrieved 2024-06-08.
  17. ^ "Lörrach: Der tödliche Weg der Sabine R." www.abendzeitung-muenchen.de (in German). 2010-09-20. Retrieved 2024-06-11.
  18. ^ Beitzer, Hannah (2010-09-21). "Sabine R., Mutter und Mörderin". Süddeutsche.de (in German). Retrieved 2024-06-08.