Hostage-Taker in German Cinema Shot Dead

Hostage-Taker in German Cinema Shot DeadHostage-Taker in German Cinema Shot Dead

A heavily armed man who barricaded himself in a cinema in the German town of Viernheim has been shot dead. His motives are still not known.

According to the state interior minister of Hesse, Peter Beuth, the gunman has been shot dead.

He took hostages at a German cinema in the small town of Viernheim, near Frankfurt, before the police stormed the building. The public broadcaster Hessischer Rundfunk tweeted a video from Viernheim, AFP reported.

“The assailant moved through the cinema complex, according to the information we have now and appeared confused,” Peter Beuth said.

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

Police spokesman Bernd Hochstaedter said authorities were told early Thursday afternoon that an armed man had entered the Kinopolis movie theater and that shots apparently had been fired. He confirmed that police shot the man dead after elite forces stormed the cinema complex, adding that all the hostages were released. Hesse’s interior minister said it wasn’t clear whether the perpetrator’s weapon was real.

 The motives of the shooter are still not known. Security sources told DPA that he was likely a lone perpetrator and not a terrorist.