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Injured policeman's death denied by Police

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Injured policeman's death denied by Police
This WEGA armored vehicle was used in the police operation. Photo: Der Polizist/Wikimedia
11:35 CEST+02:00
A young police officer shot in the head by a supermarket robber has died in hospital, according to a report from the Austrian news source Heute. Meanwhile, the Vienna Police department's official Facebook page is denying his death, and is asking media to stop spreading such rumours.

Heute still claims on its web site that "high ranking police officers" have confirmed the death of the young police officer.

He was one of three police officers who were the first to respond when a silent alarm was triggered by supermarket employees who were being held hostage by an armed robber in a Billa supermarket in the Penzing district of Vienna.

Upon encountering the robber, two of the police officers were shot by the man with a silenced pistol, in what a police spokesman describes as a "professional" action.


This eyewitness video shows police storming in to rescue their wounded colleagues.

After being evacuated by rescue helicopter to Vienna's general hospital, the 23-year-old policeman, who was only promoted to inspector on June 1st, went into emergency surgery for a life-threatening head wound.

Denial

According to press reports, the young Carinthian died soon after falling into a coma.  However, Vienna Police are officially denying that the man has died, and are calling for restraint by media in the spreading of rumours.

His younger colleague, a police cadet, was also seriously injured, with multiple shots in the abdomen, pelvis and thighs. A third colleague, a police woman, had superficial injuries after taking cover.

The 49-year-old gunman was tracked down by the highly-trained WEGA police armed-response unit, and killed in a firefight on Saturday evening.  He is described as a Bosnian, who is the primary suspect in at least two prior armed robberies.

Shocked

Vienna's mayor Michael Häupl issued a statement on Sunday morning, describing how he was deeply shocked by the event.

"The brutality of the attack is upsetting and shows once again that we must do everything possible to equip the police with personnel and appropriate equipment."

"Now it is but a matter to take care of the two seriously injured officers, one of whom was critically wounded", said Häupl.
 
"My sympathy and my thoughts are with the victims and their families."
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