AN ISIS gunman armed with an assault rifle and wearing a fake bomb vest was shot dead as four people were killed and 17 wounded in a terrorist rampage in Vienna.
At least 1,000 police are now staging a massive manhunt after “several” suspected extremists opened fire near a synagogue and busy restaurants at six sites in the Austrian capital.
⚠️ Follow the latest updates on the Vienna shooting here
Gunman opened fire on drinkers sitting in beer gardens near Vienna’s main synagogue on the Seitenstettengasse last night.
The next hour saw violence and bloodshed as police deployed every cop they could to at least six crime scenes.
Pictures and videos showed running gun battles as bystanders fled screaming from terrorists shooting wildly in the streets.
The sun rose over a shocked Vienna as police attempt to piece together what happened and track down the rest of the attackers.
Austria‘s interior minister Karl Nehammer described the dead suspect as an “ISIS sympathiser” and said the manhunt was continuing to find any other accomplices.
Special forces from neighbouring countries were deployed to help in the operation and the suspect’s home had been searched and videos had been seized.
One of the suspects is said to have announced the attack on Instagram and pledged allegiance to ISIS leader “The Professor” Abdullah Qardash.
The dead gunman was named as Kurtin S, according to the editor of the weekly Falter newspaper Florian Klenk, a 20-year-old who was known to domestic intelligence.
He was flagged to security services as one of 90 Austrian Islamists who wanted to travel to Syria, but police thought he was not capable of planning an attack in Vienna.
“We experienced an attack yesterday evening from at least one Islamist terrorist,” Mr Nehammer said.
Austrian news agency APA reports a number of arrests have been made in connection to the rampage.
Four civilians – two women and two men – were killed in the violence, and one police officer was critically injured in a shootout with the terrorists.
Seven victims of the attack in Vienna are in a critical, life-threatening condition.
People in Vienna were urged to stay at home if possible on Tuesday and children did not have to go to school.
Austria’s chancellor condemned it as a “hideous terrorist attack” as officials ordered residents to stay indoors.
Gunfire erupted just after 8pm local time on Monday – when the city centre was bustling on the last night pubs and cafes were open before a new Covid lockdown starting at midnight.
Disturbing video emerged online apparently showing the moment the first victim was gunned down at random close to the Stadttempel synagogue.
A gunman in light clothing is seen marauding up the cobbled street carrying a long firearm before unleashing a hail of bullets at the young man, who is pinned to a shop window in fear.
The killer jogs past him as he collapses to the ground – then callously turns back and shoots him again with a pistol.
Other footage showed sparks flying as terrorists shot at police in a town square, and a pool of blood between the tables outside a cafe.
Injured victims were also seen covered in blood as they were treated by emergency crews in pictures shared on social media.
Officers put up road blocks checking all cars and taxis to leaving the city, and security was beefed up at other Jewish sites.
Meanwhile, the Czech authorities stepped up border checks in an effort to stop the attackers fleeing over the frontier.
It is not clear if the synagogue, the largest in Vienna, was the target of the attack, which was closed at the time.
Rabbi Schlomo Hofmeister said he saw at least gunman fire at people sitting outside bars in the street below his window.
He said: “They were shooting at least 100 rounds just outside our building.
“All these bars have tables outside. This evening is the last evening before the lockdown.
“As of midnight, all bars and restaurants will be closed in Austria for the next month and a lot of people probably wanted to use that evening to be able to go out.”
One witness said a gunman attacked “wildly” using an automatic weapon.
They told Austrian newspaper ORF: “Then you noticed that these were shots.
“Then you saw a person running down the Seitenstetten, [who shot] wildly with an automatic weapon.
“He then turned down, at the ‘Roter Engel’ from there in the direction of Schwedenplatz.
“He continued to shoot wildly there. Then the police came and fired. “
Authorities have not ruled out an anti-Semitic motive for the attack, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said.
He told reporters: “We really can’t say anything about the background yet.
“Of course an anti-Semitic background cannot be ruled out.”
Mr Kurz said the army would protect sites in the capital so the police could focus on anti-terror operations.
He described the attackers as “very well equipped with automatic weapons” and had “prepared professionally”.
We will never be intimidated by terrorism and we will fight this attack with all means.
The Chancellor added on Twitter: “Our police will act decisively against the perpetrators of this hideous terrorist attack.
“I am glad that our police officers have already been able to eliminate a perpetrator.
“We will never allow ourselves to be intimidated by terrorism and will fight these attacks resolutely by all means.”
Terrified crowds – who had been enjoying a drink on the night before the city’s partial Covid lockdown – were shut inside restaurants and the opera house until the area was secured.
Many were reportedly left sitting on the floor in the dark while they wait to be led to safety by cops.
Boris Johnson said he was “deeply shocked” by the attack last nighht.
He added: “The UK’s thoughts are with the people of Austria – we stand united with you against terror.”
French president Emmanuel Macron said: “We share the shock and grief of the Austrian people struck this evening by an attack in the heart of their capital.
“This is our Europe. Our enemies must know who they are dealing with. We will not give up.”
The bloodbath in Vienna comes after France was hit by two horrifying terror attacks by Islamic extremists with three people murdered in Nice and a school teacher beheaded in Paris.
The murders followed outrage at cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed published by satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.