Eight people were shot dead in the western German town of Hanau on Wednesday evening, police said.
Around five people were injured, police said, adding that there is still no clear information on the background.
The suspects fled and police were on the scene.
“The search for the perpetrators is in full swing,” a police spokesman said.
Shots were fired around 10 pm (2100GMT) in two separate areas, police said. A third possible shooting in another nearby area had not been confirmed.
Bullet casings were on the street in front of a business on Heumarkt street in Hanau, according to a dpa reporter.
Police told passers-by to leave the area.
A photo from the Kesselstadt area showed a car covered in foil, with shards of glass next to it. Emergency services were in the area.
Public broadcaster Hessischer Rundfunk reported that the first shots were fired at a shisha bar in the Hanau town centre, with witnesses saying they had heard eight or nine shots.
The report said that the perpetrators subsequently drove to the western neighbourhood of Kesselstadt before they started shooting again at another shisha bar.
A police spokesman did not confirm the details of the Hessischer Rundfunk report.
A third reported shooting in the northern neighbourhood of Lamboy was not confirmed, but a large police contingent was in the area. According to a spokesman of the prosecutor’s office there were no casualties in the area.
Heavily armed police had secured the area in the town centre and cordoned off the scene.
Hanau is around 20 kilometres east of Frankfurt and has a population of around 10,000.
The town’s mayor, Claus Kaminsky, said it was “an evening that you can hardly imagine being any worse.”
“It was a terrible evening, that will surely occupy us for a long long time and stay with us in sad memories,” he said in comments he made to an online broadcast from Bild newspaper.
Kaminsky did not give any more details or shine any light on possible motives for the shootings.
Katja Leikert, a parliamentarian for the Hanau constituency, said on Twitter that it was a “true horror scenario for us all.”
Leikert told dpa she was following the unfolding events on Twitter.
Source – DPA