Shooting and Possible Hostage Situation at a Movie Theater in Germany

By Alexandra KrauskaRabat – An unidentified, masked man entered a theater in Viernheim, Germany at about 3pm and fired four shots into the air. It is believed that he was firing blanks, rather than real bullets, though it is not confirmed that the weapon was real. Dozens of people are reported to have run from the scene. Local news sources reported that he took several hostages.German police closed off the area around the cinema and entered the building. According to interior minister Peter Beuth, the attacker was killed by police at about 5pm, and there is no information that anyone was injured in the attack. “The assailant moved through the cinema complex, according to the information we have now, and appeared confused.” The motivation for the attack is still unclear. German press agency DPA reported that the shooter was a “confused individual,” and not a terrorist. The shooter’s identity has not yet been revealed.About 25 of the people inside may have been minorly injured due to the police use of tear gas, but were not harmed by the attacker.German gun laws allow for people to own weapons, but fully automatic weapons are banned and restricted to those with a “creditable need for a weapon,” according to the Library of Congress. Small-arms permits can be acquired to own pistols and the like.

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