Officials 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 and were being treated in hospitals, according to the spokesman for the local hospital association. At least seven of the injuries were serious, according to Vienna’s mayor.
“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 and said it will still going on. “We are still in a battle against suspected terrorists,” Mr. Nehammer said in a live news briefing, describing the perpetrators as “heavily armed and dangerous.”
An Interior Ministry spokesman, Harald Sörös, described the person who was killed as a passer-by.
The Vienna police force tweeted that the attack, which began around 8 p.m., involved several suspects armed with rifles, with shots fired in six different locations as the gunmen moved through central Vienna.
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.
“We are going through a dark hour in our republic,” Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said in a statement, adding that he was glad the police had managed to “take out” one of the attackers.
The chancellor said he had called in troops to ensure the security of Austria’s official buildings, freeing up the police to “concentrate fully on the fight against terror.”
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 share 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.”
A mild evening out, and then gunfire.
The attackers struck as Austrians congregated outdoors on an unusually warm November evening to enjoy a final night out before the country imposes strict new measures to control the pandemic.
“You could feel a lot of people wanted to get out one more time before lockdown starts,” said Ameli Pietsch, 23, who was in the area an hour before the attack. “It was a mild evening and lots of people were outside.”
All that changed in a moment.
“I am currently in one of the restaurants right next to where the attacks happened,” said Julia Schrammel, a 24-year-old student. “I am here with my cousins because we wanted to spend a nice night together before the lockdown.”
At first, Ms. Schrammel said, the magnitude of what was happening was not clear.
“We just saw quite a few people running, had no clue what was going on, then heard the shooting and a few people screaming,” she said.
The restaurant was eventually locked down. Elsewhere, there were reports of patrons in other restaurants running into the kitchen to hide.
The city halted all trams and subways in central Vienna and repeated the police plea for people to shelter in place. That included many who were in restaurants and cafes.
“The situation here is very tense,” Ms. Schrammel said. “It’s safest to stay here. We are surrounded by tons of police and ambulances.”
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 and Farnaz Fassihi reported from New York.