200220 Ger shooting
A damaged car is seen after a shooting in Hanau near Frankfurt, Germany, February 20, 2020. Image Credit: Reuters

Eight people were killed in shootings in the German city of Hanau late Wednesday, authorities said. Two shisha lounges reportedly were targeted.

Authorities were searching for the perpetrators early Thursday, hours after the shootings at about 10pm (1am Thursday UAE), which police said also left about five people wounded.

A heavy police presence was in place in central Hanau, with officers cordoning off the scene of one of the shootings as a helicopter hovered overhead. A car covered in thermal foil also could be seen, with shattered glass next to it. Forensic experts in white overalls collected evidence.

Police said a dark vehicle was seen leaving the scene of the first shooting, and another shooting was reported at a second site.

A short police statement gave no information on the victims. It said the motive is not immediately clear.

Regional public broadcaster Hessischer Rundfunk said, without citing sources, that an attack took place in a shisha lounge in the centre of the city. It said witnesses reported hearing eight or nine shots and seeing at least one person lying on the ground.

The perpetrator or perpetrators then apparently went to another part of the city, where shots were fired in another hookah lounge, the broadcaster said.

Hanau is in southwestern Germany, about 20 kilometers east of Frankfurt. It has about 100,000 inhabitants and is located in Hesse state.

Police from neighboring Bavaria were deployed to help their local colleagues, news agency dpa reported.