An unknown man who started shooting at a cinema complex in Germany was shot dead by the local police. According to the Independent, there are at least 50 people who have been wounded by this deadly attack. The man entered the cinema complex wearing a mask and carrying arms, before taking at least 50 people as his hostages. The unknown man was shot during the police operation that followed his activity.
An armed man reportedly barricaded himself inside the Kinopolis cinema complex in western Germany, according to Sky News. German police stated at the time that there had been an unclear threat situation as there was a possibility of a hidden weapon at a movie theater.
— News18 (@CNNnews18) June 23, 2016
It was earlier reported that there were around 20-50 people that had been wounded when the suspect started the open fire, it is still not clear whether or not the man actually used any of the weapons he entered the complex with. Local authorities have reported that all the injuries had been sustained when the officers used tear gas.
“The police thought that the gunman was holding hostages and because of that he was shot dead,” said Peter Beuth, the state’s interior minister, the BBC reported.
Christiane Kobus, a German police spokesman, earlier confirmed the news via The Telegraph that there was definitely a threat situation at the time of the original report, but that it was not possible to reveal any further details.
— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) June 23, 2016
On the other hand, some local media had reported earlier that the unknown man had entered the cinema complex and fired at least one shot. So far the motive of the identity of the shooter remains unclear. According to Frankfurt Allgemeine, several scenarios are being considered including a botched robbery, or an ideological cause like the massacre that happened in Orlando.
One of the hostages, identified by Bild as 16-year-old Almir Almilovic, was quoted as saying: “The perpetrator surprised us on the toilet. He hissed to us: ‘Lie down if you care for your lives!’ We were around 17 hostages.”
According to the press agency, Dpa as reported by The Guardian, police believe the gunman to have been a “confused individual,” rather than a terrorist.
Police spokesperson Bernd Hochstädter later told newspaper Die Welt that the authorities had not yet found any motive behind the man’s activity.
“We have no indications regarding the motive, but we can say with certainty that the attack did not have an Islamist motive.”
As everyone knows, mass shootings are very rare in Germany. Gun legislation in Germany is considered among the strictest gun control in the world. The current law in Germany, the German Weapon Act, dates from 1972, regulates the handling of knives, ammunition and firearms as well as possessing, sharing and the maintenance of weapons. But at the same time, in 2002, a gunman did open fire at a high school in Erfurt, killing 16 people – 13 staff members, two students and a police officer. And in 2009, a gunman who dressed as a military officer killed 15 people in a mass shooting.