An Austrian policeman has died days after a shootout between Bosnian migrants and Vienna police during an armed robbery gone wrong.
Twenty-three-year-old Vienna police officer Daniel S. died Tuesday evening after succumbing to wounds inflicted by a Bosnian migrant gunman in a massive firefight that occurred on the weekend.
The man behind the attack, a 49-year-old Bosnian named Blazenko K., shot the officer in the head on Saturday during the attempted armed robbery of a Billa supermarket in the Austrian capital. Vienna police say that the migrant, who did not act alone, shot another police officer in the abdomen and thigh during the shootout, reports Austrian broadcaster OE24.
Police said that the shootout came after they were alerted to the robbery on Saturday after an employee of the supermarket was able to activate the alarm without the knowledge of the robbers.
Daniel S. was one of the police officers to initially answer the call and went to confront the criminals who had tied up most of the staff with zip ties. Daniel S. and another officer attempted to enter the building via the backdoor. When they identified themselves as police the Bosnian national opened fire on them and shot Daniel S. in the head.
After the Vienna special branch of police (WEGA) were called on the scene the criminals barricaded themselves inside the supermarket. The 49-year-old Bosnian attempted to open fire again on police but was fatally shot several times by a member of the WEGA unit.
On Wednesday a police raid of the apartment of the suspected migrant revealed a large cache of weaponry. According to authorities they found hand grenades of various types, pistol ammunition, high explosive ammunition for grenade launchers, gun powder, and various knives and blunt weapons.
Reactions from politicians across the political spectrum in Austria have been of profound disbelief and condolences for the family of the fallen officer. Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern wrote:
“Today we must accept, tragically, the risk they [police officers] take for all of us. My deepest sympathy to the family, friends and colleagues of this young police officer who succumbed to injuries after the supermarket robbery in performance of his duties.”
Anti-mass migration Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) leader Heinz Christian Strache remarked on the hardships police officers face and said: “For their dedication to our community we cannot give them thanks enough.”
Migrant gang crime in Austria has reached new highs in both frequency and intensity over the course of the past year. The capital of Vienna has seen gang warfare between ethnic groups that left several hospitalised, and migrants have almost totally taken over the street drug trade with police saying that Nigerians make up over 80 per cent of those they arrest.