Gunman opens fire in German cinema hall, shot dead

The shooter barricaded himself inside the cinema hall but was shot dead by police, say reports.

Berlin: A masked man with a gun and ammunition belt opened fire in a cinema complex in the small western German town of Viernheim, near Frankfurt.

German media reported on Thursday that he had injured between 20 and 50 people and barricaded himself inside.

The gunman has been shot dead by the police, according to Reuters.

Bild daily and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported that elite police were at the scene. According to the newspaper, the man entered the Kinopolis complex at about 3 pm, and fired four shots.

The Darmstaedter Echo said 20 to 50 people had been injured. Bild claimed that the police had sealed off the area and it was tear gas that had caused the injuries.

However, according to AP, police said they believe that no one was injured in the incident.

Police spokesman Bernd Hochstaedter said authorities were told early Thursday afternoon that an armed man had entered the Kinopolis movie theater in the town of Viernheim and that shots apparently had been fired.

Hesse's interior minister, Peter Beuth, said it wasn't clear whether the weapon was real.

Hochstaedter said that the police deployment lasted around three hours.

The motive of the gunman was so far unclear, Frankfurter Allgemeine reported, saying that several scenarios were being considered including a botched robbery, as well as a political or an ideological cause.

( Source : Agencies )
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