A hotel employee had called police after seeing the man sitting at the hotel bar holding a knife and suffering mental distress.
When officers arrived, the 40-year-old man ran at them with the 20-centimeter long knife. According to Erich Habitzl from the state prosecution in Wiener Neustadt, the suspect told police: “I will kill you.”
Police shot the man in the stomach and he underwent emergency surgery in hospital where he is still said to be in a critical condition.
One of the officers was injured in the leg after taking a small fall, although the second was uninjured in the incident.
Former councillor in Mödling, Karl Lang, witnessed the incident. He told the Kurier the man had stormed past bystanders and towards police while holding the knife, with the police shouting ‘stop, police’ before shooting.
“I think it was a case of ‘suicide by cop’. He expected to be shot,” he said.
The actual motives of the 40-year-old Austrian citizen, who was born in Papua New Guinea, are not known although he reportedly had been suffering from psychological problems for some time.
The 40-year-old is now being investigated for attempted murder or attempting to cause grievous bodily harm.
The use of the weapon by the officer is being examined by an investigation team from Burgenland police and Wiener Neustadt prosecutors.
Police shoot dead man in Vienna
It follows an earlier incident this summer when police called out to a disturbance at an apartment in Vienna early on Sunday morning shot dead a man after he ran at them holding two kitchen knives.
The incident happened in Brüßlgasse in Ottakring when several neighbours called police after hearing noises and a woman’s screams coming from a nearby flat.
“A man had gone on a rampage and damaged several objects,” police spokesman Patrick Maierhofer told Radio Wien.
As four police officers approach the third floor flat, the man – named as Ismail S. by Österreich newspaper – reportedly came out of the open apartment door holding two knives.
The officers demanded 37-year-old Ismail S. put the weapons on the floor but he refused, and instead “went at the officers with two 20 centimeter large kitchen knives”, according to Maierhofer.