The police say there is at least one death.
Multiple gunmen opened fire in central Vienna on Monday night, killing at least one person and wounding many others, including a police officer, government officials said. They said that one attacker had been killed.
At least 15 people were wounded in the attack, according to a spokesman for the local hospital association. It was unclear how serious the injuries were.
“At the moment we assume there are several perpetrators,” said Karl Nehammer, Austria’s interior minister. “Unfortunately there are also several injured, probably also dead.”
He called the episode a terrorist attack.
The shooting took place in the heart of the Austrian capital, hours before the midnight start of a nationwide lockdown, one of several being imposed in Europe to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
The target remains unclear.
The area where the shooting took place is packed with bars and Vienna’s main temple, the Seitenstettengasse synagogue, but it was not clear if they had any connection to the violence.
The president of the Jewish Religious Community in Austria, Oskar Deutsch, said on Twitter that the shooting had occurred “in the immediate vicinity” of the temple, but that it was closed at the time.
“It is not clear right now whether the main temple was the target,” he said.
Police officials described a chaotic situation, with several “exchanges of shots.” Emergency vehicles blocked off streets and a streetcar line through the area was shut down.
The police took to Twitter to urge restraint.
“Please don’t start any rumors, accusations, speculations or unconfirmed numbers of victims,” they said. “That does not help at all! Stay inside, take shelter, Keep away from public places.”
Bystanders posted dramatic videos.
Several people posted dramatic videos of what appeared to be the shooting and its aftermath.
One video showed people aiding a wounded person lying in a pool of blood, just outside a restaurant on Ruprechtsplatz and less than a mile from the Austrian Parliament building. Several chairs in the restaurant’s outdoor area had been overturned, as if abandoned in a hurry.
Another video showed a man in civilian clothing emerging from a bar or restaurant, then firing a rifle twice down a street.
Yet another video appeared to show the same gunman on the same street, shooting a man with a long gun at close range, then returning seconds later to shoot him twice more with a handgun.
Other videos showed people running for cover or ducking behind obstacles as shots echoed through the streets, and heavily armed police officers taking up positions.
On Twitter, the Vienna police pleaded with witnesses not to post videos and pictures to social media, but instead to send them to the authorities.
Melissa Eddy, Christopher F. Schuetze and Katrin Bennhold reported from Berlin. Christoph Koettl reported from New York.