Robert Collins
Robert Collins
3 min of reading
  • The shooting took place hours before the midnight start of a nationwide lockdown.
  • One suspect was killed in Vienna, Interior Minister Karl Nehammer told ORF, a public broadcaster in Austria.
  • Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said the shootings were repulsive terror attack.

Vienna (SK) — Five gunmen fired shots at six locations in central Vienna, starting near the synagogue, killing at least one man and wounding 15 others, including seven seriously, public broadcaster ORF says. Police say shots were fired shortly after 8 p.m. in a lively street in the city center, few hours before the midnight start of a nationwide lockdown.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said the shootings were “repulsive terror attack”. He added that the army would protect sites in the capital so the police could focus on anti-terror operations.

“One suspect was killed”, Interior Minister Karl Nehammer told ORF. The suspect was shot and killed by police officers.  

Oskar Deutsch, the head of the Jewish community in Vienna, said the shooting took place on the street. He said it was not clear whether the synagogue had been targeted. The synagogue was already closed at the time of the shooting. Rabbi Schlomo Hofmeister told the newspaper that he saw at least one person fire shots at people sitting outside bars in the street below his window.

They were shooting at least 100 rounds just outside our building.

“All these bars have tables outside. This evening is the last evening before the lockdown”, he said. “As of midnight, all bars and restaurants will be closed in Austria for the next month”. President Emmanuel Macron of France, which has seen two deadly knife attacks in Paris and Nice in recent weeks, wrote on Twitter that the French people “share the shock and grief of the Austrian people hit by an attack tonight”. “After France, this is a friendly country that has been attacked. This is our Europe.. We will not give in” he said. France is now at its highest level of alert.

Authorities in Vienna warned people to avoid all open spaces and public transport in the city. Police say trams and buses were not stopping in the city center.  They have urged social media users not to post videos of the ongoing police operations.

“It's very, very important that everyone in Vienna stays at home and observes public information. If you are in a location now, please stay there” police spokesman Harald Sörös said.

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