An armed and masked man who opened fire at a cinema complex in Viernheim, a town in Germany’s Hesse region has reportedly been shot dead by German special police, the state’s interior minister has said.
The unnamed gunman entered the Kinopolis complex at about 3pm, firing an alarm gun and shooting wildly as frightened locals scampered for safety, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper reports.
Peter Beuth told the state of Hessen’s parliament that police stormed the Kinopolis complex in Viernheim, near Frankfurt, after shots were reported.
“The police thought that the gunman was holding hostages and because of that he was shot dead,” he added.
German media are reporting that about 25 people have been injured, with influential daily, Bild, claiming the injuries are due to the use of CS gas by the police.
The special response unit of Germany’s police force has since closed off the area leading to the cinema complex, according to Guardian.
Authorities are yet to ascertain the motive of the gunman, with the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper suggesting that several scenarios were being considered including a botched robbery and a political cause.