This article is continuously updated.
Several people were killed and a few injured when shots were fired in a Hamburg church in the Groß Borstel district on Thursday evening. The police spoke of a large situation. The act of violence occurred at an event organized by Jehovah's Witnesses, according to a police spokesman. "The dead all have gunshot wounds," said a police spokesman, according to the DPA news agency. What kind of event was held in the congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses was initially unclear.
According to information from security circles, the Hamburg police classified the shots as an amok act.
In the evening, a police spokesman made a first statement: Around 9:15 p.m., the first emergency calls were made. The police were there quickly. There is no indication of a fugitive perpetrator. Injured were taken to a hospital. "At the moment the situation has calmed down," said a police spokesman.
A special unit of the riot police, which was nearby, went into the object and even heard a shot, the police spokesman continued. A person was also found. "It is still unclear whether this is the perpetrator."
The background is still unclear. "We ask that you do not share unsecured assumptions and/or spread rumours," police wrote on Twitter. In addition, the emergency number 110 should only be used in extreme emergencies or for relevant observations.
According to official information, special forces are deployed. Interior Senator Andy Grote wrote on Twitter on Thursday evening: "The @PolizeiHamburg is in GroßBorstel with a large contingent, including special forces, to ensure on-site security and quickly and fully clarify the circumstances of the crime."
A DPA reporter on site reported a large contingent of police special forces. Accordingly, rescue workers carried people out of a building.
The city's interior authority issued a warning, which was also distributed via the warning app NINA. It spoke of an "extreme danger". The shots were fired around 9 p.m. The streets are cordoned off over a wide area. The authorities are calling for people to avoid the danger area and not go outside. "Seek shelter in a building immediately," the warning app said.
Hamburg Mayor Peter Tschentscher (SPD) was dismayed by the shots. "The reports from Alsterdorf / Groß Borstel are shocking," Tschentscher wrote on Twitter on Thursday evening.
"My deepest sympathy goes to the relatives of the victims. The emergency services are working flat out to track down the perpetrators and clarify the background." Tschentscher called on citizens to heed the police's instructions.