Saturday 1 October 2016

German cinema gunman shot dead by police

James Rothwell in Berlin

Published 24/06/2016 | 02:30

Police cars in front of the cinema in Viernheim near Mannheim, southern Germany (Simon Ribnitzky/dpa via AP)
Police cars in front of the cinema in Viernheim near Mannheim, southern Germany (Simon Ribnitzky/dpa via AP)

An unidentified man has opened fire in a German cinema complex before being shot dead by police.

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The incident took place at the Kinoplex cinema in the town of Viernheim, near Frankfurt.

No one other than the gunman was injured, German authorities said, and they confirmed that the attacker was killed during the police operation.

It remained unclear whether the armed man used a genuine firearm, as local media reports said a "gas or stun gun" had been used.

And police could not immediately confirm whether the weapon was genuine.

Earlier reports said up to 50 people had suffered minor injuries during the hostage situation, but this was due to tear gas used by police, not the gunman.

"We have no information that anyone was injured," Hesse state interior minister Peter Beuth said.

Hostages "The assailant moved through the cinema complex, according to the information we have now, and appeared confused.

"There were hostages inside and there was a struggle (with police) until in the end he was dead."

Lars Henneman, editor-in-chief of the 'Darmstadter Echo', who had a reporter on the ground, said that the gunman was in a "state of confusion".

Security sources said the man did not appear to have links to terrorism.

Mr Beuth, the Hesse state interior minister, has responded to reports that the weapon was a "gas or stun gun".

He said police could not confirm whether the weapon was a genuine firearm.

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