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German police shoot gunman dead following cinema siege

German police shoot gunman dead following cinema siege
German police shoot gunman dead following cinema siege
German police shoot gunman dead following cinema siege

A gunman who reportedly opened fire in a cinema complex in the western German town of Viernheim has been shot dead after police stormed the complex, the Mannheimer Morgen newspaper reported, citing the interior minister of the state of Hesse.

No one else was injured in the incident in which the armed man entered the Kinopolis movie theatre in the early afternoon in the town of Viernheim and apparently fired a gun.

Police shot the suspect dead about three hours later, Hesse interior minister Peter Beuth 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," he said.

A police spokeswoman at the scene, Christiane Kompus, told The Associated Press that she had no information on the assailant's identity and motives.

She said the man had been holding several hostages, but did not have a precise number.

Mr Beuth said it was not clear whether the weapon was real. He 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.

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