Hofmeister witnessed the attack on Monday night at the Bermuda Triangle amusement park, watched from his home near Seitenstettengasse Temple, the synagogue where he taught religion.
Hofmeister called the police and told them that a gunman was running towards the people at the bar, shooting “dozens, maybe hundreds,”.
“He’s running,” said Hofmeister. “He was running back and forth and running inside bars and I heard gunshots being fired inside the bars. And then for the next 15 or 20 minutes, I heard gunshots from further away. And as we have heard, there are several places under attack. “
Police in Vienna told CNN it is still unclear whether Monday night’s shooting involved a lone gunman or two or more attackers. Authorities there advised parents to leave their children home from school on Tuesday, in case other assailants were rampaging.
An Austrian law enforcement source told journalists on Tuesday that the authorities had identified six locations of the shootings: streets of Salzgries, Fleischmarkt, Bauernmarkt, Graben, Seitenstettengasse and Morzinplatz.
Werner Beninger was having dinner with his wife nearby when he heard a series of shots. He told CNN he initially thought the noises were fireworks. “The shot came closer and then I realized it was a volley.”
“People ran into the restaurant’s garden, many were very worried,” he said. “Later [special police unit] WEGA came and told us to go down to the basement, and there were about 50 people, and we were already waiting in the basement. “
Beninger said they were there until after 1am, when the police finally made them completely clear to leave the scene.
The bloody attack, which killed at least 4 people and injured more than 20, took place in the historic first district of the city, an area known for its neo-art architecture and paved streets. Narrow gravel with fashion shops.
The area is busy on Monday night, when friends meet for one last drink before Vienna – like the rest of Austria – starts to lock on the coronavirus on Tuesday. The unseasonal warmth also draws crowds of people to the area, many sitting outside in thin coats.
Robert Schneider, 39, told CNN he was walking towards the area from his home in the city when he noticed a laser pointing at his chest – he believed it could be from a weapon belong to the police officers who are called to the area in response to the attack.
“I was just going to eat with my friends,” he said on Monday night. “All we want is to have a meal and some drinks and enjoy the evening. Now we need a drink to calm down.”
CNN’s Nina Avramova contributed to this report.