German cinema attacker had harmless fake guns, grenades

Authorites say man had one working pistol


VIERNHEIM, Germany – The man who took multiple hostages at a movie theater in Germany was armed with multiple harmless replica weapons and a pistol, new reports say.

German authorities say the suspect is a 19-year-old German born man from Mannheim, Germany, who officials believe had no political or terrorist background.

The man entered the Kinopolis movie theater in southwestern Germany on Thursday, fired a gun into the air, and took several hostages before being killed by a colleague.

Authorities said he was found armed with a replica rifle, dummy grenades, and a pistol but it was unknown at the time of his death if all weapons were functional or not.

None of the 18 hostages were injured, and Darmstadt prosecutors say the motives of the man are still being investigated.

An employee at the cinema initially thought the armed man was wearing a costume, but quickly realized the situation with the man was something more serious.

The employee said the man held a weapon to his head, and told him to close the doors of the theater.

The employee proceeded to ask the armed man if he wanted money, and the man refused, demanding the employee go into his office and stay there.

Police quickly responded and had a three hour standoff with the man before he was killed.

"There was a threat situation and the man was then shot dead by a colleague." said police spokeswoman, Christiane Kobus.

She said officers "successively entered the cinema and were able to locate the man and the people he was holding."

Witnesses say the man appeared very confused and “relatively young”.

The name of the attacker has not yet been released.

The Kinopolis, a multiplex theater, is located in a shopping mall in Viernheim, which is near the city of Mannheim in southwestern Germany.