On the evening before a new round of COVID lockdown measures were scheduled to begin, innocent bystanders in the European country of Austria were terrorized by a gunman who opened fire on crowds in the country’s capital of Vienna.
According to Bloomberg, the terrorist gunman was killed by Vienna police. Early reports indicated that there were multiple gunmen, but updated reports appear to point toward a lone gunman, although the possibility that the gunman is part of a larger group is still being investigated.
What we know
The deadly shooting began after 8 p.m. on Monday.
According to local police, the armed gunman, identified as Kujtim Fejzulai, wounded at least 22 people and killed four others, the Associated Press reported. One of the wounded victims was a police officer, who is now in stable condition.
“They seem to also, as far as we know, be very well equipped, with automatic weapons. So they were very well prepared,” said Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.
“During the last 24 hours, we arrested 14 people,” Kurz said, “now we will find out in the next days if he is part of a broader network or not.”
The alleged gunman was a supporter of the Islamic state terrorist group with family origins in Northern Macedonia, the AP reported. Austrian authorities are labeling the shooting a terrorist attack.
The world reacts
The Vienna shooting came on the heels of a recent string of terror attacks in France, in which a teacher was beheaded and three people were stabbed to death in a Catholic church. French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted his support for Austria, writing “France stands alongside Austria, ready to lend its support.”
President Donald Trump also weighed in on the Vienna shooting, offering his prayers for those affected by the violent act and assuring Austria that the United States stands with all European countries that have been targets of terror attacks.
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. The U.S. stands with Austria, France, and all of Europe in the fight against terrorists, including radical Islamic terrorists.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 3, 2020
Charles Michel, the President of the European Council, tweeted, “Europe strongly condemns this cowardly act that violates life and our human values.” A later tweet revealed that the European Council would fly their flags at half mast in memory of the victims of the shooting.
Even though radical Islamic State terror cells have been largely decimated, thanks in part to Trump’s tough stance and willingness to do whatever it takes to eradicate them, the threat is still there and the world must remain cautious.