Updated– A gunman opened fire and took multiple hostages at a movie theater in Viernheim, Germany at 3:00 pm local time. AP sent out an alert stating that no one was injured by the gunman. People on scene state that there might be some injured from tear gas, which more than likely was used by the police as the man was barricaded in the theater. The shooter was shot and killed by police. There are no other details about the shooter or his motives at this time. More updates to follow.
From USA Today:
Hesse state’s interior minister, Peter Beuth, said special forces had “fought and killed” the man, who had been visibly confused and had fired at least four shots inside the cinema with a rifle, the German news agency DPA reports.
Beuth said the elite police stormed the cinema from the rear.
According to witnesses, just after 2 p.m., the masked man entered the theater. A theater employee thought it was just a filmgoer: “It’s often that filmgoers dress up to match the film,” Guri Blakaj, 21, told German broadcaster, N-TV. But after he took a gun out and forced employees to lie on the ground, Blakaj realized, “this is serious.”
“If you have a gun to your head, you’re scared,” the employee added, noting that the man held a long gun and wore a balaclava. He did not want money.
The suspect then barricaded himself and up to 40 movie-goers in the theater before police stormed the building.
Blakaj said the suspect was “small, black-haired and between 18 and 22 years old” and looked confused.
Authorities did not immediately identify the gunman or suggest a possible motive. Darmstadt police spokesman Bernd Hochstädter: “There is no indication that it could be someone with a Islamist background.”
Featured image courtesy of The Independent