Masked gunman shot dead at German cinema, police unsure if weapon was real

Latest: Hesse's interior minister, Peter Beuth, said it was not clear whether the weapon was real.

Masked gunman shot dead at German cinema, police unsure if weapon was real
  • Armed man entered the Kinopolis movie theatre
  • Man barricaded himself into cinema for around three hours
  • The man was shot dead by police
  • Nobody else was injured in incident
  • Police unsure if weapon was real
  • Police: No indications of an Islamist background

Update - 5.45pm: Officers "successively entered the cinema and were able to locate the man and the people he was holding," Ms Kobus said.

"There was a threat situation and the man was then shot dead by a colleague."

Police said that the deployment lasted about three hours. There were no other injuries, Ms Kobus said.

Another police spokesman, Bernd Hochstaedter, said "there are no indications at present of an Islamist background".

Nina Reininger, a prosecutor in nearby Darmstadt, said her office was investigating but she has no information so far on the attacker's identity.

The Kinopolis, a multiplex theatre, is located in a shopping centre in Viernheim, which is near the city of Mannheim. The incident happened on a hot summer afternoon and the cinema appears to have been relatively empty at the time.

Update - 4.55pm: Hesse's interior minister, Peter Beuth, has told the regional legislature in Wiesbaden that the man was masked and that apparently four shots were fired.

Mr Beuth said the man had given a confused impression, news agency dpa reported.

Local police say no one was harmed by the suspect at the Kinopolis cinema, though local media reported that up to 50 people had been injured by tear gas.

Nina Reininger, a prosecutor in nearby Darmstadt, said her office was investigating but she has no information so far on the attacker's identity.

Update - 4.35pm: Police spokesman Bernd Hochstaedter said authorities were told early on Thursday afternoon that an armed man had entered the Kinopolis movie theatre in the town of Viernheim and that shots had apparently been fired.

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

Hochstaedter said that the police deployment lasted around three hours.

He said: "We believe that there were no injured people, and that the people who were in the cinema with the perpetrator could be freed uninjured."

Update - 4.25pm: Police say no one has been injured by a gunman at German cinema.

Update - 4.10pm: A man who launched a gun attack in a cinema complex in Viernheim, Germany, has been shot dead, local media has reported, quoting the Interior Ministry.

Update - 4.05pm: A man has been arrested after at least 20 people were injured after a gun attack in a cinema complex in Viernheim, Germany, local media has reported.

Earlier: There has been a shooting at a German cinema.

German media have reported that a gunman has fired a shot at a movie theater in southwestern Germany.

Reports say that several people have been injured and a gunman has barricaded himself inside.

The venue in the western town of Viernheim has been surrounded by police.

Police there have confirmed that there is a "threat situation" at the Kinopolis movie theater and it "probably involves a weapon".

Police spokeswoman Christiane Kobus told the Associated Press that she was unable to give any more details.

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