Is The Viernheim Shooting Terrorism? Details Are Still Emerging

A gunman opened fire at a cinema in Viernheim, Germany on Thursday morning Eastern Time — less than two weeks after the deadliest mass shooting in American history took place in Orlando, FL. Unsurprisingly, as soon as reports of the attack began to surface, speculation began as to whether or not the shooting in Viernheim was an act of terrorism.

According to the BBC, German newspapers do not yet know if the Viernheim shooter had ideological motives to attack the cinema located within the Kinopolis complex. Yet, German officials are sure to be looking into this possibility immediately — according to CNN, German officials are aware that Germany could be a target for an attack by ISIS, and worry that there may be ISIS cells located in the country. After ISIS took responsibility for the attacks in Paris in November 2015, and Brussels in March of 2016, it's not surprising that many are wondering whether or not ISIS will claim responsibility for the attack in Viernheim.

Even if ISIS does not take responsibility for the attack, there will likely be speculation, and investigation as to whether or not the shooter pledged allegiance to ISIS — as did Omar Mateen, the gunman responsible for the attack in Orlando.

Although CNN reported that at least 25 people were injured during the shooting in Viernheim, it seems as if the injuries sustained were caused by tear gas released on the scene by police officers — there are no reports that anyone was injured by the suspect himself.

Thankfully, Reuters reported that police killed the Viernheim shooting suspect before he could shoot anyone within the cinema. The gunman had allegedly taken hostages, in a move eerily similar to that of Omar Mateen — the man responsible for the Orlando shooting.

In the coming days, there will certainly be investigations into what motivated the shooter in Viernheim — and if he had political motivations the attack will likely be labeled an act of terror. Yet, either way, the gunman entered a cinema within a complex that CNN reported is visited by over 20,000 people per day — it's almost certain that the suspect chose such a location in order to inflict as much damage as possible.

Whether or not the attack in Viernheim was an act of terror, another deadly situation involving gun violence was thankfully avoided.