An unidentified man wearing a mask stormed inside a German cinema yesterday injuring 25 people before the authorities were able to shot him dead.
The masked man was bringing a rifle with him when he entered the theatre in Viernheim, near Frankfurt in western Germany. The attack took place before 3 in the afternoon, according to Hesse Interior Minister Peter Beuth.
According to reports received by the police, there were four shots fired and that there were 25 people that got injured due to the attack.
However, further reports revealed that the people who got injured were not due to any of the shots fired. It was only the attacker who got hit by the gun shot.
Officials are reported to be investigating the event and are looking into the possibility that a tear gas might be the cause for the people’s injuries, Jackie McKennan said.
The assailant also took hostages during the attack but the cause remains unknown.
"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."
The cinema is part of Rhein Neckar Zentrum Viernheim, a major shopping center. The center receives at least 20,000 guests every day and is home to more than 100 businesses.
Based on the reports of one Coyote Café Viernheim employee, there were between 50 and 100 officials who rushed to the scene.
"Our café went into lockdown. We brought all of our customers out of the back door. This is something very unusual for our town. I've never seen anything like that. I never want to see anything like that again," the employee said.
The police operation lasted until Thursday afternoon, based on the complex’ Facebook page.
"At this moment in time we have no information on injured persons. The driveway is still blocked. We will keep you updated on new developments."
While the motive for the attack is still unknown, German officials said there is no indication that it is a terror-related one. This is despite the warnings issued by the police regarding Germany being an ISIS target.
Germany is one of the countries that welcomed refugees last year and it could be possible that ISIS might have cells within the country.