A gunman in Germany's shot and killed four people before turning the gun on himself. The man held them all hostage for several hours in his flat before police commandos smelled some and then smashed their way into the block. It was there that they discovered the dead bodies.

This is the window of the room where the siege is said to have happened. Emergency crews and journalists still surrounding the block in the Nordstadt area of Karlsruhe area as more commandos arrive. By all accounts, a bailiff and locksmith had turned up to evict the man, as well as a woman who was all set to move into the apartment. He barricaded himself inside the top-floor flat with his hostages, neighbours heard shots and they called police just after 9am - which is when the standoff began.

Police spokesperson Fritz Bachholz told reporters "….shortly before nine this morning several people arrived here in a dwelling at Kanal Weg 115 to carry out a forced eviction. Either the tenant, or the partner of the landlord, it's not clear yet, he greeted them with gunshots. Initial reports indicated that they were injured, others were saying they were dead. Based on the information I have now, I have the sad confirmation of their deaths."

According to news channel NTV, the evictee had at least one hand grenade, while another policespokesman told Reuters news agency that he had some hunting weapons but that direct contact with police was never established before any shots were fired. Officers are set to hold a press conference later today to release more information on the incident.