At a local theater in Viernheim, Germany, near Frankfurt at 9:30 a.m. EDT, Thursday, June 23, 2016, was roughly the time when the gunshots rang out. There are still conflicting reports on how many people were injured, but there has been official confirmation that the number is above 20 people. With multiple sources claiming it could be as high as 50.
BBC reported that the injuries inflicted to those at the theater were not from the shooting, rather a result of tear gas being released while victims were likely to have been in a confined space. There is no confirmation of any deaths of those injured or involved.
The attacker was wearing a mask and was heavily armed before shooting at the crowd of people, according to Germany’s state and police officials. As the German Police arrived soon after the shooting began and confirmed the threat. Officers surrounded and prepared for an assumed hostage situation, due to the gunman barricading himself inside the cinema.
However, both “The Telegraph” and BBC Breaking News confirmed that the gunman was shot dead during a commando operation done by a brave lone officer who was told to shoot on sight. He made the shot without knowing whether or not the gunman had taken hostages.
CNN’s Foreign Correspondent, from Berlin, Anita Shubert said that authorities do not know who the shooter is or what kind of weapons he used to set fire to the crowd. Shubert finished the report by saying, “The possibility this could be a terror attack is crossing the minds of people here in Germany.”
The motive is still unclear. Although a lone wolf mass shooting at a public theater that is attached to one of Germany’s major shopping centers, that is host to over 100 businesses and averages over 20,000 people every day, along with a strong resemblance to that of a Western World custom, may point toward the MO of a terrorist group.
German authorities have been on high alert for terrorism in recent months as the country toppled into the center of the European counterterrorism.
By T. Aaron DeGeorge
Edited by Cathy Milne
BBC: Breaking News: German Cinema Shooting
MEDIAITE: German Movie Theater Shooting/Update: German Movie Theater Shooting
The Telegraph UK: Germany Shooting
Image Courtesy of Martin Fisch’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License