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Police Kill Lone Gunman in Germany After Short-Lived Cinema Takeover

A masked and heavily armed shooter fired shots in a German movie theater early Thursday afternoon

Local police have imposed a press embargo on the situation while they continue investigating. (Photo: Getty)

A lone shooter in the town of Vernheim, in the state of Hessen, Germany, was killed after a short-lived standoff with police.

The masked and heavily armed man entered a movie theater around 3pm on Thursday afternoon and fired four shots, according to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ). The shooter barricaded himself in the cinema and took hostages.

The attacker was subsequently shot and killed by police, the Hessen interior minister confirmed to local media.

German outlets say that up to 50 cinema-goers were injured by tear gas, while English-speaking media were reporting that 25 were injured.

Die Zeit is reporting that no cinema visitors were shot.

The movie theater remains secured and surrounded by police forces, and the local police have requested a media blackout on the incident while they complete their investigation, FAZ reports.

It remains unclear whether the shooter's motives were ideological, personal, or whether he was simply mentally disturbed.

Germany has extremely tough gun laws, and mass shootings in the country are very rare.

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