A masked man with a gun and ammo belt opened fire in a cinema complex in the small western German town of Viernheim, near Frankfurt.
The man, wearing a mask and a cartridge belt around his shoulder, entered the Kinopolis in Viernheim at around 3pm local time.
As people ran from the cinema screaming he opened fire and unleashed tear gas.
At least 20 people are believed to have been injured when tear gas was released into the confined space, German media reported.
The masked gunman was shot and killed by police according to German media.
Officers, including some from the SEC special task force, are at the scene and have cordoned off the area.
— Torben Degen (@TorbenDegen) June 23, 2016
The interior minister of the state of Hessen, Peter Beuth, announced the perpetrator’s death in the state parliament in Wiesbaden.
He said: ‘The police had an emergency call at 2:45pm [12:45 GMT]. The caller said there was a masked man… armed with a long gun. It is unclear whether it was a real gun.’
‘The caller heard four shots and said that the masked man appeared a little mentally unstable. Police special forces were called.’
The motive of the gunman was so far unclear, Frankfurter Allgemeine reported, saying that several scenarios were being considered including a botched robbery, as well as a political or an ideological cause.