June 23, 2016


Police Kill Masked Gunman in German Movie Theater Hostage Situation

Alexander Scheuber/Getty Images
Alexander Scheuber/Getty Images

An armed, masked man reportedly created a hostage situation in a German movie theater in the southwestern town of Viernheim at around 3 p.m. on Thursday. Initial reports claimed that upwards of 25 or even 50 people left with injuries. The man was shot by police, who have now told CBS News no injuries occurred. 

Multiple news sources heard that the reported injuries were primarily or entirely caused by tear gas, which could have come from the attacker or the police. CNN reports the man was "apparently heavily armed," although it's unclear if his weaponry was fake. Reuters U.K. reports that the man unleashed gunshots into the air upon entry.

The disturbing event took place less than two weeks after separate shootings in Orlando, Fla. claimed the lives of 49 dancers at the LGBT club Pulse as well as the life of singer Christina Grimmie, happened at Viernheim's Kinoplex, which is part of a large shopping center with more than 100 businesses.

CNN notes that mass shootings are an infrequent occurrence in Germany, citing a 2002 high school shooting that killed 16 and a 2009 attack that left 15 dead. "While the motive for Thursday's attack remains unclear, police have repeatedly warned that Germany could be a target by ISIS," the news service writes.