Deaths reported after shooting at church in Germany

Deaths 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. 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 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 tweeted, and they asked people not to spread rumors.

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

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

Hamburg Mayor Peter Tschentscher tweeted that the police reports 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 blocked off the area.

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

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

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

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