The details are still rather sketchy at this point but the Vienna police are sharing what they do know. A message was posted by the LPDWein account on Twitter.
“Shots fired in the Inner City district – there are persons injured – KEEP AWAY from all public places or public Transport – don’t share any Videos or Fotos!” they declared.
The police did not want anyone who had photos or videos to start sharing them on social media. “If you have footage of any kind of the shooting incident in the inner city of Vienna – please upload it on this link – DON’T share it on social media! This way you can support us!” they continued. Meanwhile, an Austrian news agency reported this attack as a form of terrorism.
According to other news outlets, there were two attackers on the scene and one of them has passed away. “According to the Austrian news agency APA, the Interior Ministry has spoken of a possible terror attack or shooting rampage. It said one attacker was dead and a police officer had been shot and seriously wounded, according to the agency. One suspected attacker has been arrested, the ministry was cited as saying,” one report read.
Authorities may also believe that this was a terror attack because it took place in close proximity to a synagogue. There are others who believe that the synagogue was not a part of the attackers’ motivation because it was closed at the time. “The shooting reportedly took place on a street near a synagogue. Jewish community leader Oskar Deutsch tweeted that it was unclear if the Vienna synagogue was targeted in the attack as it was closed at the time,” said the BBC.
“At least seven people are thought to have been killed with several others injured in a suspected gun and suicide attack near a synagogue in Vienna.A huge manhunt is underway for the gunman, according to local reports, with an accomplice thought to have ‘blown themselves up’ during the rampage.
Kronen Zeitung, Austria’s largest newspaper, is reporting the incident as a terror attack, with a police officer said to have been shot and left in a critical condition,” the Daily Mail reports. If we had to guess here, we would have to presume that this was some sort of terrorist attack. The videos that are circulating are also a tough watch.
A gunman can be seen firing several shots in one of the clips that has been passed around. Abhijit Majumder’s tweet was one of the most chilling. “Several casualties feared in ongoing terror attack near Jewish synagogue in #Vienna. A shooter was seen in this video shouting something familiar. #ViennaAttack,” she said. Another video shows the gunman trading shots with police officers.
Yet another video depicts a sizable amount of blood in the streets, as people attempt to help one of the injured parties. Even CNN and the New York Times are not denying what has taken place here. These are the news sources that are usually the quickest to deny any form of terrorism that takes place. They usually don’t care how obvious the signs are, either.
In a statement, police said there were several suspects “armed with rifles” and six different shooting locations. Multiple people have been injured in the city center. “All possible forces” are responding to the incident, according to police, who are urging people to avoid the area and not to share photos or videos on social media,” CNN said.
We will provide more updates on the situation as they are made available to us. Austria’s Chancellor is now calling this a terror attack, so we are curious as to what happens next. “We are currently going through difficult times in our republic. I would like to thank all the emergency services who risk their lives, especially today for our safety. Our police will take decisive action against the perpetrators of this hideous terrorist attack,” Sebastian Kurz said.