*this story has been updated since first published.*
German newspapers Bild and Der Spiegel are reporting that a “heavily armed” opened fire in a crowded theater near Hessen in Viernheim, Germany and is now in a stand-off with police. The gunman took hostages, but was later killed in a police operation using tear gas. Twenty-five people have been injured, but it is not clear how many were suffering from tear gas after the SEK, a German SWAT unit, stormed the Kinopolis complex and took out the hostage-taker.
Bild reports it is possible the gunman fired his weapon only in the air.
He was “heavily armed,” and masked, and was wearing a “cartridge belt over his shoulder” according to the Frankfurter Allgemeine. We will update this post with information if it becomes available.
Hessen: Mann schießt im Kino um sich, verschanzt sich. Das SEK ist auf dem Weg. https://t.co/1k2oKp9SWo pic.twitter.com/TjM7P0oQfp
— BILD (@BILD) June 23, 2016
UPDATE: Tear gas has been deployed.
UPDATE 2: No other media reporting it yet, but L’essential is reporting that a local German television station
UPDATE 3: The 25 wounded may be suffering from a tear gas attack rather than gunshots. Some German media reporting the shooter is now in custody.
BREAKING: Gunman shot dead in Viernheim, Germany: local media
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) June 23, 2016
UPDATE 4: U.S. officials in Germany have confirmed that the shooter has been killed.