UPDATE with reports that gunman is dead: Reports are coming out of Germany that an armed man who opened fire and used tear gas in a cinema complex in western Germany has been shot dead after engaging in a shootout with police. The news was reportedly confirmed by a regional interior minister. Some earlier reports had suggested the man had been arrested. No other injuries were reported.
German police surrounded the cinema in the town of Viernheim, near Mannheim, where the armed man was said to be holed up with hostages. There had been reports of casualties, with local media reporting that as many as 50 people have been wounded while the shooter was barricaded inside the Kinopolis complex. There are reports that the man was wearing a mask and carrying both a gun and an ammunition belt.
Germany has some of the toughest gun control laws in Europe. Germany’s National Gun Registry introduced at the end of 2012 counted 5.5 million firearms in use, which are legally owned by 1.4 million people in the country.