Four people have been hospitalized with life-threatening injuries Wednesday evening following two stabbing incidents in Vienna, Austria.
According to the police statement, a 67-year-old man, a 56-year-old woman, and their 17-year-old daughter were victims of a knife attack near the Nestroyplatz metro station in the Austrian capital. The attack occurred at around 7:45 p.m. local time.
A second incident happened around 30 minutes later, where a 20-year-old Afghan man was stabbed at the nearby Praterstern transport hub. After the second attack, authorities have arrested a 23-year-old Afghan man. Police said the suspect’s motive for the attack was “completely unclear at present.”
The suspect admitted to carrying out both attacks, saying he attacked the family out of anger at his situation in life. He also told police that he had been in a “bad, aggressive mood.”
The first attack took place at the large shopping street of Praterstrasse near a subway stop. After the stabbing, the offender reportedly fled towards Praterstern, where the second attack took place.
“I saw how someone in the middle of the street was screaming and shouting — I thought he was beating his dog judging from his hand movements,” said Silvia Franke, who witnessed one of the attacks. “And in reality, he was stabbing this man.”
“I’m convinced he is psychotic,” the eyewitness added. “He could have stabbed me as well had I been there by chance. He had lost all control.”
As of the latest reports, the lives of three of the victims are out of danger, while the 67-year-old father remains in critical condition.
In recent years, Austria has been a hub for migrants that have moved to Europe during its refugee crisis. From 2015 to 2016, an estimated 90,000 refugees, many of whom came from the war-torn Middle East, sought asylum in the country. Refugees account for one percent of the country’s population.