Policemen stand in the area where a gunman had taken people hostage on July 4, 2012.
AFP/Getty Images
Policemen stand in the area where a gunman had taken people hostage on July 4, 2012.

Story highlights

The gunman in Karlsruhe, Germany, was facing eviction, police say

The hostages included a bailiff who was there to remove the gunman from the flat

Police stormed the flat after it was on fire

It's not clear if the gunman was among the dead

Berlin CNN —  

A gunman fired shots and held people hostage Wednesday in southern Germany in a standoff that left four people dead, police said.

The gunman was facing eviction, and the hostages included a bailiff who came to remove the man from his flat in the city of Karlsruhe.

Police stormed the flat shortly after noon because it was on fire, said Karlsruhe police spokesman Juergen Schoefer. They found four bodies inside.

Schoefer could not say yet whether they were killed by fire or gunshots and whether police had exchanged fire with the gunman.

It was also not clear whether the gunman was among the dead.

CNN’s Diana Magnay contributed to this report.