4 dead in Vienna shooting; attacker sympathized with ISIS


Austria’s top security official said that four people have died — including one assailant — and fifteen people were wounded in a shooting in the heart of Vienna late Monday.

Interior Minister Karl Nehammer told reporters Tuesday that two men and a woman have died from their injuries. A suspected attacker, who was carrying an assault rifle and a fake suicide vest, 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.

“We experienced an attack last night by at least one Islamist terrorist,” Nehammer told reporters. He declined to elaborate, citing the ongoing investigation.

Authorities were still trying to determine whether further attackers may be on the run, he said. People in Vienna have been urged to stay at home if possible Tuesday.

Among the fifteen people injured in the attack was a police officer, said Nehammer.

Half empty glasses and cups are seen in a cafe after exchanges of gunfire Monday in Vienna. (Leonhard Foeger/Reuters)

The shooting began shortly after 8 p.m. local Monday near Vienna’s main synagogue as many people were enjoying a last night of open restaurants and bars before the start of a coronavirus lockdown.

“We are victims of a despicable terror attack in the federal capital that is still ongoing,” Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said.

The attack drew swift condemnation and assurances of support from leaders around Europe, including from French President Emmanuel Macron, whose country also experienced three Islamist attacks in recent weeks.

Police officers check a person after gunshots were heard, in Vienna, Monday. (Ronald Zak/The Associated Press)

U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted Monday night as he prepared for his final rally ahead of Election Day: “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,” Trump added. “The U.S. stands with Austria, France, and all of Europe in the fight against terrorists, including radical Islamic terrorists.”

Austria’s military has provided soldiers to guard key sites in Vienna, freeing up police to continue the investigation. Germany and Hungary have offered to send tactical police units to support their Austrian colleagues.

Authorities say members of the public have uploaded 20,000 videos of the attack to police.

Read more at CBC.ca