German cinema attacker takes hostages before being killed by police

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VIERNHEIM, Germany — A masked gunman stormed a German cinema Thursday afternoon, June 23rd, taking hostages before he was killed by police, officials said.

The rifle-wielding man entered the cinema in Viernheim, near Frankfurt in western Germany, shortly before 3 p.m. local time, Hesse Interior Minister Peter Beuth said.

Police received reports of four shots fired.

German public TV initially said 25 people were injured, but it wasn’t clear if they were shot or hurt in other ways.

After the ordeal ended, a Viernheim police spokesman told CNN that no one was injured by gunfire aside from the attacker.

The U.S. Embassy in Germany said officials are looking into the possibility that tear gas might have caused some of the injuries, spokeswoman Jackie McKennan said.

At one point, the assailant took hostages, but it’s unclear why.

“There were hostages in the vicinity of the individual. It was at this point that he was fatally shot by special forces,” Beuth said. “I have no knowledge that anyone else was harmed.”

PHOTO GALLERY:

A popular destination

The cinema is part of a major shopping center called Rhein Neckar Zentrum Viernheim. The complex, with more than 100 businesses, hosts 20,000 visitors daily, according to its website.

An employee at Coyote Café Viernheim, just across from the cinema, said about 50 to 100 officers rushed to the scene.

“Our café went into lockdown. We brought all of our customers out of the back door,” said the employee, who asked not to be named.

“This is something very unusual for our town. I’ve never seen anything like that. I never want to see anything like that again.”

Late Thursday afternoon, the shopping complex announced the police operation was over.

“At this moment in time we have no information on injured persons,” the shopping center said on its Facebook page. “The driveway is still blocked. We will keep you updated on new developments. ”

The motive for Thursday’s attack remains unclear, but German police said there’s no indication the incident was terror-related.

Prior to the attack, police had repeatedly warned that Germany could be targeted by ISIS.

Germany absorbed more than one million refugees last year, and there have been concerns about the possibility of ISIS cells in the country.

6 comments

    • Mayor McTrolley and Chief Wiggum are useless!!!

      I wondered that too!! Ovomit LIED to us??? Say it isn’t soooooo.

  • chris

    And Germany has stricter gun laws than American. I bet the Chancellor of Germany cam use the term Islamic Extremists and will actually do something about the attack instead of trying to punish law abiding gun owners and staging congressional libtard sit ins.

  • Stupid is as Stupid Does

    Banning guns does not stop gun violence, but it does stop the ability for law abiding citizens to end these rampages…. hmmm… why do you think our liberals want guns to be banned? Because they don’t want us fighting back against their supporters, the criminals… I personally think this country needs to rethink it’s position on a lot of things, including: trying liberals as war criminals for treason…. just a thought….

  • Solozzo

    Liberals and safe space social justice warriors won’t acknowledge that radical islamic terrorists are at war with the world and don’t care about gun laws or any laws for that matter. The great stupification of the American people has begun and the lefty universities are at fault. In our era we would take the fight to them and wipe them off the map.

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