Movie Theater Gunman in Germany Killed by Special Forces

German Cinema Shooting
AP Photo/Daniel Roland

German police SEK special forces shot and killed a gunman who had taken hostages in a movie-theater complex in the Hessian town of Viernheim on Thursday. None of the hostages or police officers were hurt in the rescue operation.

The unidentified masked man reportedly entered the Kinopolis multiplex Thursday afternoon carrying a number of firearms and wearing bandolier, fired shots into the air and barricaded himself in a theater with hostages.

Special police units stormed the theater complex and killed the gunman. Witnesses reported that a number of shots were fired before the assailant was killed.

Police have not yet identified the man nor the types of firearms he was carrying.

According to Hessian Interior Minister Peter Beuth, the gunman was carrying a rifle and appeared to be confused or disturbed. Spiegel Online, citing police sources, added that the assailant appeared to be a lone and disturbed individual, adding that there was no evidence of a terrorist-related attack.

Initial press reports erroneously reported a number of wounded hostages. Police have stressed that no people were injured in the rescue operation, which has resulted in high praise for the SEK special unit on social media, particularly from Twitter users.

The attack nevertheless echoed the 2012 mass shooting inside the Century 16 theater in Auroroa, Colorado, during a midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises.”

While mass shootings have become a regular occurrence in the U.S. — most recently at the gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, earlier this month that killed 49 people and injured 53 others — they are rare in Germany. Only about two people out of every million are killed in gun homicides in Germany. By contrast, in the U.S., 31 per million people die of gun homicides, the equivalent of about 27 people shot dead every day of the year, according to a recent article in New York Times.

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  1. Meow99 says:

    This issue goes far deeper than gun control laws. It speaks to the very core of human values/disregard for life–it is such a clear reflection of outright self loathing. That said…I do not disagree with you Suebot.

  2. suebot says:

    The Day you can tell me The USA Government wont be taken over by Corporate goons and then they Declare marshal law to control the masses – is the day you can convince me we need stricter gun controls. EVERY day we are getting closer to that reality.

  3. suebot says:

    Freedom of carrying guns isnt about protection from everyday shooters, its about protection from the government.

  4. Am I right? says:

    Right wing gun nuts: This is not evidence that we don’t need common sense gun laws in America.

    Just thought I’d head off that inevitable argument at the pass.

    “Look, Germany has shooters, too!” doesn’t mean it’s okay to give suspected terrorists AR-15s.

    • EricJ says:

      Oh, and right-wing gun nuts: The “Ralphie’s Red-Ryder BB-Rife Fantasy” of “If I was there with my licensed conceal-and-carry gun, I’d have saved EVERYBODY from the bad man!” sounds just as silly as when Ralphie fantasized about it.

      • Am I right? says:

        @Chris Braly Yes, it’s fantasy because your article is b.s. and no one in their RIGHT MIND thinks that AR-15s should be in the hands of ordinary citizens, especially ones with violent criminal records, or, you know, ones who’ve been investigated by the FBI for terrorist ties.

        The day you can show me an article that shows statistics that more lives have been saved by gun-wielding citizens than lives taken by gun-wielding citizens is the day I’ll agree that we should not have gun control.

      • Chris Braly says:

        So it is a fantasy when I can show you at least ten times that an active shooter was taken out by an armed citizen?

    • Odinson2k14 says:

      I agree with an assault weapons ban. What civilian needs a machine gun :)? But I reserve the right to arm and defend myself against vicious thugs.

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