Vienna shooting: 7 feared dead including one gunman, Internet asks 'any statement from Trump or Biden?'
Gunmen with automatic weapons opened fire at six different locations in central Vienna, near the Seitenstettengasse synagogue
In another deadly brazen attack in Europe, several “heavily armed and dangerous” gunmen with rifles opened fire in six different locations in central Vienna, near the Seitenstettengasse synagogue, reportedly killing two people on October 2. However local media is reporting there could be more casualties from the terrible attack, with up to seven feared dead. According to the BBC, 15 people were wounded with seven of them seriously injured and among them was a police officer. Two men and two women have died so far from their injuries in the attack.
Some Twitter users and reports have claimed that seven people have died in the attack so far, however, an official word is yet to come. A user tweeted, "Terror attack in #Austria. Tens of emergency units have arrived in the city center of #Vienna. At least 7 dead, many more injured. One terrorist dead, one detained, multiple still at large."
BREAKING - One terrorist was shot and killed in front of a church in #Vienna and still lies on the ground as he is wearing an explosive belt. A bomb disposal unit is at the scene, a police spokesman confirmed on Austrian media.— Disclose.tv 🚨 (@disclosetv) November 2, 2020
The attack was unleashed just hours before Austria imposed new national restrictions in the wake of rising cases of Covid-19. According to reports, many were seen thronging bars and restaurants which must close until the end of November owing to the pandemic restrictions. Now residents have been advised to stay indoors for their safety.
Chancellor Sebastian Kurz described the attack as a “repulsive terrorist attack”. Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said, “We have brought several special forces units together that are now searching for the presumed terrorists. I am therefore not limiting it to an area of Vienna because these are mobile perpetrators,” Nehammer told broadcaster ORF, according to a report by Reuters.
Kurz reportedly mentioned that the army would protect sites in the capital (Vienna) so the police could focus on anti-terror operations. Kurz said, as mentioned in Reuters, that the attackers “were very well equipped with automatic weapons” and had “prepared professionally”.
Police reportedly said that they have shot dead one of the attackers. He was reportedly wearing an explosive belt. A bomb disposal unit was also present later at the scene, a police spokesman reportedly confirmed. As per reports, the suspect in the ghastly attack was identified as a young Austrian-North Macedonian dual citizen. Previously, he faced a terror conviction for attempting to join the Islamic State extremist group in Syria. Nehammer said that suspect Kujtim Fejzulai Fejzulai had posted a photo on his Instagram account before the attack that showed him with two of the weapons he apparently used. An unverified video showed the suspect dressed in white coveralls, firing off bursts apparently at random as he ran down the Austrian capital’s cobblestone streets.
What eye-witnesses saw
Rabbi Schlomo Hofmeister told London’s LBC radio about the attack when he was at the compound of the synagogue. “Upon hearing shots we looked down (from) the windows and saw the gunmen shooting at the guests of the various bars and pubs,” he said. “The gunmen were running around and shooting at least 100 rounds or even more in front of our building,” he said.
Witness Chris Zhao who was in a nearby restaurant when the shooting happened told BBC, "We heard noises that sounded like firecrackers. We heard about 20 to 30 and we thought that to be actually gunfire. We saw the ambulances... lining up. There were victims. Sadly, we also saw a body lying down the street next to us."
A journalist posted about the attack, “Terrorist attack ongoing in the Austrian capital of Vienna. A local synagogue was attacked by a shooter reportedly. One dead in the firing as per initial details. Police in Vienna is responding to the situation. Security Operation underway.”
#BREAKING: Terrorist attack ongoing in the Austrian capital of Vienna. A local synagogue attacked by a shooter reportedly. One dead in the firing as per initial details. Police in Vienna is responding to the situation. Security Operation underway. pic.twitter.com/lBQptYGYXP— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) November 2, 2020
Until now authorities do not have any indication about the identity of the assailants. They have not yet deciphered the motive behind the attack. “We really can’t say anything about the background yet,” Kurz told ORF as reported by Reuters. “Of course an anti-Semitic background cannot be ruled out.”
World leaders condemn attack
French President Emmanuel Macron has issued a statement expressing shock and sorrow. “This is our Europe,” he said. “Our enemies must know with whom they are dealing. We will not retreat.”
Macron reportedly said that Europe must not "give up" in the face of attacks."We the French people share the shock and grief of the Austrian people, struck this evening by an attack in the heart of their capital, Vienna. After France, a friend of ours is attacked. This is our Europe. Our enemies must know who they are dealing with," he said.
Previously, France had seen two deadly knife attacks in Paris and Nice. French officials have boosted up their security since the attacks in Paris and Nice, which had reportedly suspected Islamist motives.
Other European leaders have also condemned the shooting. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was "deeply shocked by the terrible attacks". According to the BBC, European Council President Charles Michel deemed the attack as a cowardly act that violated life and human values. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte called the shooting "a heinous act" and showed "solidarity" with Austria.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wrote on Twitter, “Today’s shooting in Vienna is horrific and heartbreaking. We condemn in the strongest terms possible this act of terrorism. Our thoughts are with the people of Austria and everyone affected by this deplorable act.”
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres extended his condolences to those impacted in the Vienna attack, according to Stéphane Dujarric, spokesman for the Secretary-General.
"The Secretary-General is following with utmost concern the still evolving situation in Vienna’s city centre where violent attacks in several places have been reported today, with at least one bystander killed and several others wounded, including members of the security forces," read the statement from the spokesman as reported by CNN.
After the attack many users started putting in videos and footages from the shooting site. Some even brought presidential candidates Joe Biden and Donald Trump into addressing the shooting incident. The two leaders have been holding rallies ahead of elections but have not spoken yet on the matter. A user posted the image of police keeping them safe after the attacks. “Police kept us safe inside the @WrStaatsoper after tonight's performance. While we waited, members of @vienna_phil started to play.” A user posted purported images from the attack, “Looks like they killed one shooter. #Vienna #Austria.” Another shared, “Nearby the synagogue.#vienna.” Another posted, “#Vienna Police Exchanged Fire with the terrorist”. A user wrote, "@Biden
and @Trump can you both stop beefing for a second and talk about what is happening in Vienna!?!!! #Vienna #Terror." Another said, "any statement from biden or trump on vienna?"
Today’s shooting in Vienna is horrific and heartbreaking. We condemn in the strongest terms possible this act of terrorism. Our thoughts are with the people of Austria and everyone affected by this deplorable act.— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) November 3, 2020
Police kept us safe inside the @WrStaatsoper after tonight's performance. While we waited, members of @vienna_phil started to play. No #angriff #terrorwien #viennaattacks #viennashooting will ever stop the music in #Vienna ❤❤❤ pic.twitter.com/H8wfWjR5lV— Barbara Lovett (@BarbaraLovett4) November 3, 2020
any statement from biden or trump on vienna?— Joe Gabriel Simonson (@SaysSimonson) November 3, 2020