Austria's top security official says a third person has died following Vienna shooting. Austrian Interior Minister Karl Nehammenr told reporters that two men and a woman have died from their injuries. A suspected attacker was also shot and killed by police.
Nehammer said that initial investigations indicate that the suspect who was killed had sympathized with the Islamic State group. Authorities are still trying to determine whether further attackers may be on the run. People in Vienna have been urged to stay at home Tuesday.
Fifteen people were injured in the attack in the center of the capital, among them a police officer he said. Nehammer called the incident an attack on Austria's values and democratic society. "The attacker sympathized with the militant terrorist group IS," Nehammer told reporters. He declined to elaborate, citing the ongoing investigation.
Gunmen opened fire on people enjoying a last night out at Vienna's cafes and restaurants before a coronavirus lockdown Monday in what authorities said was a terrorist attack that left at least two dead - including one of the assailants - and 15 wounded.
"We are victims of a despicable terror attack in the federal capital that is still ongoing," Austria's Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said hours after the gunfire erupted. "One of the perpetrators was neutralized, but several perpetrators appear to still be on the loose," he said. "They seem to also, as far as we know, be very well equipped, with automatic weapons. So they were very well prepared."
"One of the perpetrators was neutralized, but several perpetrators appear to still be on the loose," he said. "They seem to also, as far as we know, be very well equipped, with automatic weapons. So they were very well prepared."
Police said that several shots were fired shortly after 8 p.m. (1900 GMT) on a lively street in the city center and that there were six shooting locations. Unverified footage on social media showed gunmen walking through the streets, apparently shooting at people at random, wounding several.
The motive was under investigation, but Kurz said the possibility it was an anti-Semitic attack cannot be ruled out, given that the shooting began outside Vienna's main synagogue. It was closed at the time.
Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said the army had been asked to guard key locations in the city as hundreds of heavily armed police hunted for the gunmen. He urged people in Vienna to stay indoors and avoid the city center and encouraged parents not to send their children to school on Tuesday.
Kurz praised police for killing one of the attackers and vowed: "We will not never allow ourselves to be intimidated by terrorism and will fight these attacks with all means." Vienna Mayor Michael Ludwig said 15 people were hospitalized, seven with serious injuries. Oskar Deutsch, the head of the Jewish community in Vienna, said it was not clear whether the main synagogue had been targeted.
Rabbi Schlomo Hofmeister said he saw at least one person shoot at people sitting outside at bars in the street below his window. "They were shooting at least 100 rounds just outside our building," Hofmeister said.
"All these bars have tables outside. This evening is the last evening before the lockdown," he added. "As of midnight, all bars and restaurants will be closed in Austria for the next month, and a lot of people probably wanted to use that evening to be able to go out."
President Donald Trump tweeted American support for Austria in fighting terrorism. "Our prayers are with the people of Vienna after yet another vile act of terrorism in Europe. These evil attacks against innocent people must stop," he wrote. French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted that the French "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 wrote.
Our prayers are with the people of Vienna after yet another vile act of terrorism in Europe. These evil attacks against innocent people must stop. The U.S. stands with Austria, France, and all of Europe in the fight against terrorists, including radical Islamic terrorists.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 3, 2020
France has endured three attacks blamed on Muslim extremists in recent weeks: the wounding of two people outside satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo's old headquarters; the beheading of a schoolteacher who showed students caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad; and a deadly knife attack Thursday in a church in the Mediterranean city of Nice.
Wir, Franzosen, teilen den Schock und die Trauer von der Österreicher nach einer Angriff in Wien. Nach Frankreich ist es ein befreundetes Land, das angegriffen wird. Dies ist unser Europa. Unsere Feinde müssen wissen, mit wem sie es zu tun haben. Wir werden nichts nachgeben.— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) November 2, 2020
All of the attacks were strongly condemned at the time by Austria's chancellor.