Cinema hostage-taker in Germany was carrying fake weapons: Prosecutors

Officers of a special police unit leave the cinema centre in which an armed man had barricaded himself in Viernheim, Germany, on June 23, 2016.
Officers of a special police unit leave the cinema centre in which an armed man had barricaded himself in Viernheim, Germany, on June 23, 2016.PHOTO: EPA

BERLIN (AFP) - A masked man who was shot dead by police after barricading himself in a German multiplex cinema with dozens of people was carrying fake weapons, prosecutors said on Friday (June 24).

The man was identified as a 19-year-old German national, who on Thursday took four cinema employees and 14 visitors hostage at the complex in the western town of Viernheim, 75km south of Frankfurt.

But prosecutors in the state of Hesse said it turned out that the pistol and rifle he was carrying were replicas, and the grenades dummies.

They added that the motive of man's action remained unclear, and that there were no indications of any terrorist or political motive.

No one else was injured in the incident.