Seven people have been killed and several more injured in a shooting at a Jehovah’s Witness meeting hall in the German city of Hamburg, police say.

They say the gunman acted alone in Thursday’s attack, and is also thought to be dead. His motives are unknown.

Dramatic footage has now emerged that appears to show the suspect firing many rounds through a window of the hall.

The suspect is a former member of the religious community, aged between 30 and 40, Der Spiegel magazine reports.

The victims are yet to be identified, and work at the crime scene continues.

Police say they found a dead person at the scene who they believe may have been the perpetrator.

They were called at about 21:15 local time (20:15 GMT) on Thursday, to reports that shots had been fired in the building on Deelböge street, Gross Borstel district, police spokesman Holger Vehren said.

Officers who went in found people who “may have been seriously injured by firearms, some of them fatally”, he said.

“The officers also heard a shot from the upper part of the building and went upstairs, where they also found a person. So far we have no indications that any perpetrators fled.”

It is thought people had gathered, possibly for a Bible study, when the shooting began at around 21:00 local time.

Gregor Miesbach, who filmed the gunman shooting through a first-floor window, told the Bild newspaper: “I heard loud gunshots, went to the window to get a picture of the situation. I saw a man with a firearm shooting through a window and filmed it.”

Lara Bauch, a 23-year-old student who lives nearby, told the DPA news agency that “there were about four bursts of gunfire – several shots were fired in each burst – with gaps lasting roughly 20 seconds to a minute”.

She said that from her window she could see a person frantically running from the ground floor to the first floor. “The man was wearing dark clothing and moving fast,” she added.

An alert was sent on the federal warning app, NINAwarn, at about 21:00 local time telling locals that “one or more unknown perpetrators shot at people in a church”.

Local residents were told not to leave their homes amid the ongoing police operation.

Footage showed police escorting people out of the meeting hall, some to ambulances.

Hamburg’s Interior Minister Andy Grote said on Twitter that police special forces and a large number of officers had been deployed to the scene.

Source: BBC