German gunman who took hostages in theatre shot dead, no others hurt

  • AP, Frankfurt
  • Updated: Jun 23, 2016 21:45 IST
The daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung said that the man had entered the cinema around 3:00 pm (1300 GMT) and barricaded himself inside as terrified cinema-goers fled. (Rhein-Neckar Fernsehen / Facebook)

A masked man with what appeared to be a rifle was shot dead on Thursday after he entered a movie theatre in southwestern Germany and took several hostages, authorities said. No one else was hurt.

The armed man entered the Kinopolis movie theatre in the early afternoon in the town of Viernheim and apparently fired a gun.

The man held several hostages, police spokesperson Christiane Kobus said, but she didn’t have a precise number.

Officers “successively entered the cinema and were able to locate the man and the people he was holding,” Kobus told The Associated Press. “There was a threat situation and the man was then shot dead by a colleague.”

Police said that the deployment lasted about three hours. There were no other injuries, Kobus said.

She added that she had no information on the assailant’s identity and motives.

Map of Germany locating shooting incident at cinema in the German town of Viernheim. (AFP)

Hesse state’s interior minister, Peter Beuth, said it wasn’t clear whether the weapon was functional. He told the regional legislature in Wiesbaden that the man was masked and that apparently four shots were fired.

Beuth said the man had given a confused impression, news agency dpa reported.

Nina Reininger, a prosecutor in nearby Darmstadt, said her office was investigating but she has no information so far on the attacker’s identity.

Police shot the man dead after elite forces stormed the complex, the Mannheimer Morgen newspaper reported, citing the interior minister of Hesse state. The man was described as “disturbed”.

Bild daily said that according to police about 25 people had been exposed to tear gas.

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