What we know about the shooting in Vienna

Armed policemen stand guard in a shopping street in the center of Vienna on November 2.
Armed policemen stand guard in a shopping street in the center of Vienna on November 2. Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images

More details are emerging about the Vienna attack. Here’s a summary of what we know so far:

The incident

Gunmen with automatic weapons opened fire at six locations in central Vienna on Monday evening, killing at least one person and injuring 15.

Austrian officials have described the incident as a terror attack.

The suspects

One gunman has been shot dead by police, while at least one assailant remains on the run. Authorities are urging the public to stay inside while a manhunt is underway.

The attackers were “very well equipped” with automatic weapons and “professionally prepared,” according to Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.

However, authorities have so far discouraged speculation as to the attackers’ potential motive.

The timing

Gunfire erupted at around 8 p.m. local time, hours before the start of a nationwide lockdown to combat a resurgence of Covid-19.

The city’s bars and restaurants were packed, with people sitting outside due to the warm weather, enjoying their last few hours of freedom.

The location

The shooting occurred near Vienna’s main synagogue, the Seitenstettengasse Temple, in a busy area packed with cafes and restaurants.

Kurz said that “an anti-Semitic motive cannot be excluded” due to the attack’s proximity to the synagogue.

Oskar Deutsch, the head of Vienna’s Jewish community, said in a tweet that it was unclear whether the synagogue was a target, but that it was closed at the time of the shooting. He said all Jewish institutions, including schools and kosher restaurants, will be closed Tuesday as a precaution.

The reaction

In a press conference in the early hours of Tuesday, Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said it was “the hardest day for Austria for many years.”

He added that “Those who attack one of us, attacks all of us.”

Across Europe, leaders have strongly condemned the shooting, which follows two terror attacks in France in recent weeks.

“After France, it is a friendly country that is under attack,” French President Emmanuel Macron said on Twitter.

Other leaders have shared statements expressing their shock and sorrow, including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.

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