German police say a gunman who held several people hostage in a flat in Karlsruhe executed his victims.
They believe he planned the killings, which took place in the apartment from which the 53-year-old was being evicted.
The man’s girlfriend, a bailiff, a locksmith and the flat’s new owner all died, as did the gunman who is thought to have killed himself.
A social worker is said to have been the only person to have escaped.
Several buildings near the scene were temporarily evacuated.
The gunman’s girlfriend was reportedly the previous owner of the flat before it was sold off at a compulsory auction.
Her body along with that of her partner were found in the bedroom, separate from the other victims.
Reports say the gunman forced the locksmith, who was 33 years old and had a pregnant wife and small children, to tie the other hostages before they were all killed.
Police say special forces broke into the flat which was thick with smoke. They believe the gunman was a hunter who had several weapons.
The justice minister from Baden-Wuerttemberg state has described the act as “incomprehensible”.