A large police operation is underway in the Austrian capital Vienna following reports of an active shooter in the city's central synagogue. According to the Associated Press, gunfire rang out just after 8 p.m. local time Monday night, and a large police operation is currently underway, with Austrian public broadcaster ORF reporting that witness said several shots were fired.
In a tweet, local police confirmed that "there are several injured persons." Police added that "are on site with all available forces" and requested that people "please avoid all public squares in the city." Austrian journalist Thomas Mayar, citing the Ministry of the Interior, reported that at least one person has been killed, according to the Daily Mail.
"One dead and several injured in an attack on the synagogue in Seitenstettengasse in the center of Vienna, says the Ministry of the Interior," the outlet reports. "Large-scale police operation. Stay in the houses. Shots on Schwedenplatz."
BREAKING: In Vienna, Austria, there is a reported shooting at a synagogue as well as a Jewish community center and surrounding areas. The story is developing and the suspects are still at large.— Michael Skolnik (@MichaelSkolnik) November 2, 2020
At this time, few details of the incident are known. Video shared to Twitter showed multiple police cars responding and several gunshots could be heard. Several people could also be seen attempting to seek safety.
Vienna Police confirmed the shooting in a tweet, writing, "Around #InnnerenStadt there were several exchanges of fire. There are several injured people. We are on duty with all possible forces. Please avoid all public places in the city."
🚨BREAKING: News of an attack outside synagogue in Vienna. Reports of one fatality and others injured. We are closely monitoring the situation and will send updates as we learn more.
Our prayers are with the Jewish community and people of Vienna.— WJC (@WorldJewishCong) November 2, 2020
The official Twitter account for LPD Vienna, Polizei Wein, also confirmed that shots had been “fired in the Inner City district” and that “there are persons injured.” The account encouraged people to KEEP AWAY from all public places or public Transport,” adding, “Do not stay in public areas! Stay home!”
The shooting broke out in the center of Vienna, close to the Danube river. A local newspaper reported that the attack was on the street that houses the city's main synagogue.