Hostages freed following standoff at town hall in Germany

German special police forces attend a hostage situation in the town of Ingolstadt on Monday. Michael Dalder / Reuters

Special forces ended a standoff after a man claiming to be armed took several people hostage at a town hall in Germany near where Chancellor Angela Merkel was due to attend an election campaign event on Monday, police said.

One hostage had managed to escape earlier and another was freed. Two others were freed from the “Altes Rathaus” in the southeastern city of Ingolstadt following the police intervention.

Police chief Günther Gietl said the weapon the hostage taker claimed to have was a fake, according to Germany's Die Zeit. The man was also armed with a knife, Gietl said. 

The hostage taker sustained injuries in the intervention, but is alive.

Police said the man was 24 and known to the authorities, as he had stalked a female employee at the town hall in the past.

German media reported he had been in touch with police by phone after the incident, which began at 9 a.m. local time (3 a.m. ET).

Merkel was scheduled to attend the election event on Monday afternoon.

Becky Bratu of NBC News contributed to this report.