Terror attack in Vienna leaves four dead

By Ivana Kottasová, Nectar Gan, Jenni Marsh and Helen Regan, CNN

Updated 5:16 p.m. ET, November 4, 2020
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8:19 p.m. ET, November 2, 2020

Jewish institutions in Vienna to close Tuesday "as a precaution"  

From CNN's Stephanie Halasz in London 

All synagogues, Jewish schools and the institutions of the Jewish Community of Vienna, as well as kosher restaurants and supermarkets, in the Austrian capital will close Tuesday as a precaution, Oskar Deutsch, President of the Jewish Religious Community in Austria said on Twitter. 

Shots were fired on Monday evening near Vienna's main synagogue, the Seitenstettengasse Temple, in a busy area packed with cafes and restaurants.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said “an anti-Semitic motive cannot be excluded because of the location where it happened.”

The synagogue was closed at the time of the attack as the evening prayer had ended, Deutsch said in the statement, adding that “whether the city temple was also the target of the attack, can currently neither be confirmed nor ruled out."  

"The IKG (Jewish Community of Vienna) is in close contact with the police. On the basis of the current risk assessment, we are all called upon to continue to stay at home or in a place we can lock," he said. 
7:49 p.m. ET, November 2, 2020

UN Secretary-General extends condolences to the family of Vienna attack victim

From CNN's Richard Roth

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres speaks during a press briefing at United Nations Headquarters on February 4, in New York City.
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres speaks during a press briefing at United Nations Headquarters on February 4, in New York City. Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres extended his condolences to those impacted in the Vienna attack, according to Stéphane Dujarric, spokesman for the Secretary-General.

"The Secretary-General is following with utmost concern the still evolving situation in Vienna’s city centre where violent attacks in several places have been reported today, with at least one bystander killed and several others wounded, including members of the security forces," read the statement from the spokesman.   

The Secretary-General strongly condemns these attacks and reaffirms the solidarity of the United Nations with the people and the Government of Austria, he said. 
7:38 p.m. ET, November 2, 2020

At least one attacker still on the run, Austrian Interior Minister says

From CNN's From Stephanie Halasz

Austrian authorities are still searching for at least one attacker they believe to be on the run following a shooting in Vienna, according to the country's Interior Ministry.

“This is the hardest day for Austria for many years," said Interior Minister Karl Nehammer at a press conference in the early hours of Tuesday.

Gunmen with automatic weapons opened fire at six locations in central Vienna on Monday evening, killing at least one person and injuring 15, including a police officer, according to Austrian authorities. One gunman has been shot dead by police.

Nehammer urged people to stay home and avoid the city center. Children will not be expected to attend school on Tuesday, he said, adding that those who are able to should work from home. 

“Those who attack one of us, attacks all of us,” he said. 

7:14 p.m. ET, November 2, 2020

Vienna resident describes hiding from gunfire in restaurant basement

From Denise Hruby in Vienna  

Julia Hiermann, a resident in Vienna, was at a restaurant having drinks with a friend when the shooting began on Monday.

A nationwide lockdown was about to go into effect at midnight to combat Covid-19, so she wanted to "take advantage of the last night," she told CNN on the phone.

After the attack began, restaurant staff told everyone to hide in the basement, she said.  

“Everyone ran down and then we started realizing what’s going on,” she said.  

She and others in the basement were told there were people shooting outside the restaurant. Hiermann told CNN she did not see or hear any of the attackers. 

The police later came “inside and told us we have to stay inside and wait here,” she said.  

“This seems unimaginable. When they said shots fired I didn’t think this was serious."  

7:03 p.m. ET, November 2, 2020

World leaders react to Vienna attack

The President of the European Council, Charles Michel tweeted: “Europe strongly condemns this cowardly act that violates life and our human values. My thoughts are with the victims and the people of Vienna in the wake of tonight’s horrific attack. We stand with Austria.” 

The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: “I am deeply shocked by the terrible attacks in Vienna tonight. The UK’s thoughts are with the people of Austria - we stand united with you against terror.”

The German Foreign Office tweeted: “Terrifying and disturbing news from Vienna: Even we don’t know the full extent of the terror yet, our thoughts are with the injured and victims at this difficult time. We will not give way to hatred which is aimed at dividing our societies,”

French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted that his country shares the “shock and sorrow” being felt by the Austrian people, adding: “After France, it is a friendly country that is under attack. This is our Europe. Our enemies must know who they are dealing with. We will yield nothing.”

The Belgian Foreign Ministry tweeted: “Our hearts go out to the victims of the attack in Vienna and their families. Belgium supports our Austrian friends in these tough moments.”

Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte condemned the attack, tweeting: “there must be no place for hatred and violence in our common European house. Solidarity with the Austrian people, the relatives of the victims and the injured.”

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez tweeted: "Following the information that comes from Vienna during a painful evening with an attack that doesn’t make sense. Hate won’t defeat our societies. Europe will stand firm against terrorism. Our love to the victims families and solidarity with the Austrian people."

Ireland's Minister of Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney tweeted: "Thoughts are with our friends in #Austria tonight after a terror attack in Vienna."

The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs tweeted: “We are saddened to receive the news that there are dead and wounded as a result of the terrorist attack that took place in Vienna. We strongly condemn this attack ... extend our condolences to the families of those who lost their lives and wish speedy recovery to the wounded. As a country that has been fighting against all sorts of terrorism for decades Turkey stands in solidarity with the Austrian people.”

7:18 p.m. ET, November 2, 2020

Vienna attackers "professionally prepared," Austrian Chancellor says

From CNN's Stephanie Halasz in London

Austria's Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz speaks to the media after a meeting with Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Soeder at the German-Austrian Border on October 9, in Bad Reichenhall, Germany.
Austria's Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz speaks to the media after a meeting with Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Soeder at the German-Austrian Border on October 9, in Bad Reichenhall, Germany. Lukas Barth - Pool/Getty Images

The gunmen still at large in the terror attack in Vienna were “professionally prepared,” Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said.

“They (the perpetrators) are very well equipped, have automatic weapons, thus very professionally prepared,” he said on Austrian broadcaster ORF.

One of the attackers was shot dead, police said earlier. The others remain at large.

6:26 p.m. ET, November 2, 2020

Additional security placed at hospitals in Vienna

From CNN's Stephanie Halasz in London

Additional security has been placed at hospitals in Vienna, the head of the Viennese hospitals Michael Binder said.

“The hospitals are very well secured,” he said.

Fifteen people are being treated in hospital in the wake of the attack, including seven who were seriously injured, according to Binder.

6:47 p.m. ET, November 2, 2020

The shootings are "definitely a terror attack" says Austrian Chancellor

From CNN's Stephanie Halasz in London

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has said the Vienna shooting is “definitely a terror attack."

He added that "an anti-Semitic motive cannot be excluded" due to the attack's proximity to a synagogue in the city center.

Oskar Deutsch, the head of Vienna's Jewish community, earlier said in a tweet it was unclear whether the synagogue was a target, and that it was closed when the shooting began.

One of the suspects has been shot dead, police said, but authorities are continuing to search for the others. Kurz said a police officer is among the injured, but is “thankfully not in danger."

6:10 p.m. ET, November 2, 2020

Vienna attackers still armed and at large: authorities

From Stephanie Halasz and Fred Pleitgen

Police officers stay in position at stairs named 'Theodor Herzl Stiege' near a synagogue after Austrian police say several people have been injured and officers are out in force following gunfire in Vienna on Monday, November 2.
Police officers stay in position at stairs named 'Theodor Herzl Stiege' near a synagogue after Austrian police say several people have been injured and officers are out in force following gunfire in Vienna on Monday, November 2. Ronald Zak/AP

The gunmen responsible for Monday's attack in central Vienna are still at large, said Austria’s Interior Minister Karl Nehammer.

Speaking on public broadcaster ORF, he said: “We are still in battle against the would- be terrorists."

“We assume there are several heavily armed perpetrators," he added.

Police said one of the attackers was shot dead.