Deaths reported after shooting at church in Germany

Fatalities were reported Thursday after shots were fired at a church in Hamburg, Germany, police said.

Authorities said several people were injured, some fatally, in a shooting at a church on Deelböge street, but they did not provide additional details.

“We only know that several people died here; several people are wounded, they were taken to hospitals,” Police spokesman Holger Vehren said, according to the The Associated Press.

Authorities initially tweeted that there was a large police response in the city’s Alsterdorf district and that officials were still working at the scene.

“So far, there is no reliable information on the motive for the crime,” police said in a tweet, and asked people not to spread rumors.

Vehren said police arrived shortly after being notified of the shooting at 9:15 p.m. and heard a gunshot from the upstairs area of the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Kingdom Hall, The Associated Press reported.

He said it appeared likely the perpetrator was either in the building or among the dead, according to the AP.

A police officer responds to a crime scene in Hamburg, Germany, on March 9, 2023.Jonas Walzberg / dpa/picture alliance via Getty Images

Hamburg Mayor Peter Tschentscher tweeted that the reports from police were “shocking” and that authorities were working to track down the perpetrator.

“My deepest condolences to the families of the victims,” Tschentscher said.

An alert was sent out through the German KATWARN system, saying the shooting happened around 9 p.m. local time.

It urged people to avoid the area as authorities block off the area.

Alsterdorf is about 7 miles from downtown Hamburg, the country’s second-largest city. Hamburg’s metropolitan region is home to more than 5 million people, according to the Council of Europe.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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