VIENNA, Austria — Gunmen opened fire on people enjoying the last evening out before a coronavirus lockdown on Monday in what authorities said was a terror attack that left at least two dead — including one of the assailants — and 15 wounded.
The attack happened hours before a partial lockdown was due to go into place due to the rising spread of the coronavirus, with restaurants, cafes and hotels shuttered and restrictions on movement at night.
Authorities gave no indication of the identity of the assailants or reason for the attack.
“We are victims of a despicable terror attack in the federal capital that is still ongoing,” Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said hours after the gunfire erupted. “There are still several perpetrators on the run.”
Police said that several shots were fired shortly after 8 p.m. on a lively street in the city center and that there were six shooting locations. Unverified footage posted on social media showed gunmen walking through the streets of Vienna, apparently shooting at people at random, wounding several.
The motive was under investigation, but Kurz said the possibility that it was an anti-Semitic attack cannot be ruled out, given that the shooting began outside Vienna’s main synagogue. The synagogue was closed at the time.
Interior Minister Karl Nehammer told public broadcaster ORF that the assailants were armed with rifles and that the army had been asked to guard key locations in the city to allow police to pursue the gunmen.
Watch Video Footage of the shooting