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German officials say woman killed estranged husband, son before going on hospital rampage

September 19: Police officers guard the entrance of the St. Elisabethen hospital in Loerrach, southern Germany. (AP)

September 19: Police officers guard the entrance of the St. Elisabethen hospital in Loerrach, southern Germany. (AP)

BERLIN (AP) — A woman who went on a shooting spree at a hospital in southwest Germany had allegedly killed her estranged husband and five-year-old son at a nearby apartment shortly before, authorities said Monday.

Officials said the 41-year-old lawyer had suffered a miscarriage at the hospital in the town of Loerrach in 2004, but were not sure if that was the motive for the Sunday rampage there.

Authorities said she allegedly killed her husband and son in her apartment and then ran across the street to the hospital. There she killed a male nurse before being shot dead during a gunfight with police.

The son usually lived with his father, but had been visiting for the weekend.

After the killings at the apartment, the woman set off a fire in the building before leaving, officials said.

The earlier miscarriage "could be the reason ... why she chose to go to the hospital," prosecutor Dieter Inhofer said at a televised news conference, but stressed that that was not yet clear.

The nurse died after suffering stab wounds and gunshot injuries to the head and officials believe he crossed her path by chance, Inhofer said.

The woman shot 10 times at the door of a room in which there were a patient and six visitors, officials said, before police shot her. She had some 300 rounds of ammunition.

Three people at the hospital were wounded, including a police officer, but none of them was in a life-threatening condition.

Officials said the woman legally owned the weapon used in the shooting.