An armed and masked man has reportedly been shot dead by German special police after storming a cinema complex in Viernheim, in Germany’s Hesse region.
The gunman was said to have taken hostages, all of whom have escaped uninjured.
According to Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper, the man entered the Kinopolis complex shortly after the start of the first screenings of the day at about 3pm, wearing a mask and carrying a gun and a munition belt. The man is reported to have fired into the air as he entered the cinema.
The interior minister of the state of Hesse confirmed at about 5pm that the man had been subdued by police and was dead.
German police’s special response unit had closed off an area around the cinema complex shortly after the start of the incident. Police spokesperson Bernd Hochstaedter said that the police deployment lasted around three hours.
“We believe that there were no injured people, and that the people who were in the cinema with the perpetrator could be freed uninjured”, Hochstaedter said.
Various local media had reported that up to 50 people had been injured due to the use of CS gas.
According to German press agency dpa, German security services currently believe the gunman to be a “confused individual” rather than a terrorist.
More details soon …