The cop shooter's gun has been linked with at least five homicide cases in Alaska this year [Representational Image]Reuters

An armed gunman was reportedly shot dead after opening fire in a cinema house Kinopolis in Viernheim, west Germany, at around 3 p.m. on Thursday.

The gunman, who was masked, carried a gun with a cartridge belt around his shoulder according to a report by The Sun. He had a cartridge belt round his shoulder but was shooting blanks, the report added.

The Sun report said the people in the theatre were waiting for the film to begin when the attack took place. The police rushed to the spot as the shooter barricaded himself in the theatre and people rushed out. 

The report also said the police shot the attacker only because they thought he was keeping hostages. Although earlier reports had said as many as 50 people had been killed, the Sun report quoted the authorities as saying that only the attacker had been shot and killed.