VIENNA – At least four people were seriously injured on Wednesday following two knife stabbing incidents in a central district of Vienna while a suspect in one of the two attacks was arrested but his motive remains unknown, according to Austrian police.
Vienna police spokesperson Patrick Maierhofer said that it was unclear whether the attacks were perpetrated by the same person and that the police has yet to identify the reasons behind the assaults.
Around 19:45 local time (1845 GMT), an Austrian family – a father, 67; a mother, 56; and a daughter, 17 – was attacked near the entrance of the Nestroyplatz metro station.
The family suffered serious injuries and were subsequently taken to a nearby hospital, where two of them are in stable condition but the condition of the other one is unknown, according to local media.
A woman who witnessed the attack said to public television station ORF that the suspect indiscriminately assaulted the family in front of a Japanese restaurant.
The father was stabbed in the heart and was resuscitated by one of the police officers who arrived shortly after the attack.
After the first incident, the alleged suspect fled to the Prater, a tourist area located several hundred meters away.
There, he allegedly carried out another knife attack, which left a young 20-year-old Chechen man in serious condition.
The suspect, a 23-year-old Afghan man, was arrested around 11:00 pm (2200 GMT), but it remains unknown whether the two incidents were related.
The incidents occurred in the Leopoldstadt district, which is less than a kilometer from the old quarter of Vienna, and is where most of the Jewish institutions of the city are found.
The first attack happened less than 200 meters away from three synagogues, where police usually patrol during most times of the day.