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Suspect in German movie theater incident shot dead

German movie theater incident

Police in southwestern Germany shot dead an assailant who entered a movie theater Thursday and tried to take hostages.

The man wore a mask and carried what appeared to be a weapon in Viernheim, a town near Frankfurt, reports said. But it was not immediately clear whether the weapon was real or non-lethal, or whether the man carried live ammunition, according to the DPA news agency and the Bild newspaper.

There also were conflicting reports on whether others had been injured.

Peter Beuth, the interior minister for the state of Hesse, said that there was no evidence others had been harmed, according to the DPA.

But various German media, including the broadcaster ARD, said at least 25 people had problems related to irritant gas. Bild described it as tear gas.

Beuth, citing witnesses, said the man had “seemed confused.”

A police spokeswoman at the scene, Christiane Kompus, told the Associated Press that she had no information on the assailant’s identity or motives. She said the man had been holding several hostages but did not have a precise number.

Local authorities were at the scene and the area surrounding the movie theater was cordoned off, Hesse police spokesman Bernd Hochstädter told the N24 news broadcaster.


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Sydney Chesterfield

Poet, Playwright, Philosopher, Humanitarian, mad lover of children and unflinching fighter for equality on all grounds viz. Women's rights, child rights, sine die.

Twitter: @syd_field