By Emily McGarvey
March 9, 2023 at 21:41 GMT
Updated 2 minutes ago
Watch: Armed police officers storm a building in Hamburg
Several people have been killed in a shootout at a meeting hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the northern German city of Hamburg.
According to the police, a shooter is said to be dead. It is unclear whether the attacker is one of the six or seven fatalities reported by German media.
So far, there is “no reliable information on the motive,” according to the police.
Several people were also injured in the shooting on Deelbögestrasse in the Groß Borstel district.
Police spokesman Holger Vehren told the Associated Press news agency that investigators had “indications that a perpetrator could have been in the building and could even be among the dead.”
Police did not have to use their firearms during the incident, he said.
Mr Vehren said police heard “shots coming from the upper floors of the building”. There is no evidence of a perpetrator on the run, he added.
Mr Vehran also said he had no information on the severity of the injuries to the wounded who had been taken to hospital.
Around 21:00 (20:00 GMT) an alert was sent to federal warning app NINAwarn, telling locals that “one or more unknown perpetrators have been shooting at people in a church”.
Nearby residents have been instructed not to leave their homes while the police operation is ongoing.
Footage showed police escorting people out of the meeting hall, some to ambulances.
Hamburg’s Interior Minister Andy Grote announced on Twitter that special police forces and a large number of officials were on site.
Police have appealed to the public not to share suspicions or spread rumours.
Jehovah’s Witnesses are members of a Christian religious movement.
The denomination was founded in the USA in the late 19th century under the leadership of Charles Taze Russell. The movement’s headquarters are in New York.