Gunman shot dead after opening fire in German cinema
Berlin: An armed man has been killed after he opened fire in a cinema complex in western Germany yesterday, according to German media but nobody else was hurt in the shooting.
Policemen in front of the cinema where an armed man barricaded himself in Viernheim, Germany yesterday. Pic/AFP
The German Interior Ministry confirmed that the man was shot in the town of Viernheim, local media said.
There were also unconfirmed reports that 40 people were being held hostage by the gunman. The shooter, wearing a mask and a cartridge belt around his shoulder, entered the Kinopolis cinema in Viernheim around 3 pm.
A large number of special forces and a helicopter were dispatched to the crime scene located near Frankfurt. The shooter barricaded himself inside the premises. Officers arrived at the scene and cordoned off the area, media reports said.
A spokesman for the local Darmstadt police spoke only of "vague threats", Tagesschau daily reported.
There were no other injuries although initial reports suggest that dozens of people may have been suffering the effects of tear gas while others fled.
The US Embassy in Germany said officials are looking into the possibility that tear gas might have caused some of the injuries among the people who were hurt, spokeswoman Jackie McKennan said. While the motive for attack remains unclear, police have repeatedly warned that Germany could be on ISIS’ target list.
The cinema is part of a major shopping center, home to more than 100 businesses. In recent months increased security has been put in place in the country "as a precaution".