updated 8/12/2008 6:51:16 PM ET 2008-08-12T22:51:16

Four people were killed in a shooting at an Italian gelato shop in western Germany on Tuesday, police said.

Shots rang out around 8 p.m., with one man killed outside the Eis de Rocco cafe in downtown Ruesselheim, southwest of Frankfurt, police said.

A man and a woman were killed inside the cafe, and a fourth victim died of his wounds on the way to the hospital, officials said.

Officers mobilized a manhunt after the shooter fled the scene of the attack in the town's pedestrian district near the main train station, police spokesman Ferdinand Derigs said.

Police blocked off the center of Ruesselheim, which is about 17 miles from Frankfurt, and were searching for the shooter with the aid of dogs and helicopters.

The victims' identities remain unclear.

Almost exactly a year ago, six people were shot to death in the town of Duisburg, northwest of Frankfurt, in a shooting blamed on an organized crime syndicate based in the southern Italian region of Calabria.

Seven people were arrested in connection with the Duisburg deaths.

Police spokesman Marc Wuthe said it was unclear whether Tuesday's shooting had any link to organized crime.

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