An armed man opened fire in a cinema complex in Germany, wounding around 50 people. A local newspaper reported that between 20 and 50 people have been injured in the incident, but most of the injuries were due to tear gas. The gunman had barricaded himself inside the building. Police reached the spot and have reportedly killed the man after he created a hostage situation.
The shooting took place on Thursday afternoon at the Kinopolis complex in small western German town of Viernheim near Frankfurt. Initial reports suggested that the gunman was wearing a mask and cartridge belt around his shoulders and entered the Kinopolis complex at around 3 pm local time.
It is unclear whether the gunman was alone or accompanied by another person. According to German media, 20 injured people were rushed to a nearby hospital.
According to Sky News, a police officer said, “There is an unclear threat situation” probably involving a weapon at a cinema, without giving further details. This was when the shooting was first reported.
Christiane Kobus, police spokeswoman said she couldn’t give details of what happened at the Kinopolis movie theatre. A team of intelligence officials along with several heads of local arms departments arrived at the spot.
According to local media, the heavily armed gunman was killed by the cops. Meanwhile, further details about the fatalities caused due to the shooting are awaited.
The cinema complex is located in heart of the city which also has a major shopping centre, home to more than 100 business offices.
This is a rare incident in Germany as mass shooting once occured there in 2002 in which a heavily armed gunman opened fire at a high school in Erfurt, killing 16 people. In 2009, a gunman killed 15 people in a spree at a school.