A 24-year-old German student working as a waitress has been identified as one of the four people killed in Vienna by an ISIS wannabe whose attack her friends have described as “pure evil,” according to a report.
Vanessa Preger-McGillivray, 24, was gunned down at the Salzamt Restaurant, where she worked to fund her studies in the Austrian capital, the Daily Mail reported.
Friends and fellow students gathered Thursday at the eatery, where they lay flowers, held hands and hugged tearfully to remember the young woman from Munich described as an avid ballet dancer and sculptor.
“She was working to support herself and her studies. Now her life has been cut short in this terrible way,” one mourner said, according to the outlet. “It is an absolute tragedy and the pure work of evil.”
Gerald Bast, president of the Applied Arts University where Preger-McGillivray studied, described the attack by Kujtim Fejzulai, 20, as an injustice that would leave “deep traces.”
He said another student was seriously injured in the rampage and has undergone surgery.
“Words cannot describe the injustice of these events. All our sympathy, our grief and our compassion go to family and friends of the deceased. All our thoughts and wishes are with the injured student,” he said, according to the Daily Mail.
Meanwhile, Li Quang, 39, a Chinese-born man who owned two restaurants, also was identified as one of the dead victims, the outlet reported. He had lived in Austria for more than 25 years, according to Chinese officials.
Also killed was Nexhip Vrenezi, a 21-year-old Muslim who was shot four times outside a pub, the UK outlet reported.
On Wednesday, mourners in his hometown of Korneuburg, about 15 miles from Vienna, gathered to mourn the young man outside the town hall.
“You were one of the best people I have known. You will always be a part of my heart,” a young woman who attended the vigil wrote in a letter left at the site.
“You were a good-hearted person, you were one of the few who were really loyal, you were funny, crazy, disturbed – just such a good person!” she added.
His former teacher Helene Fuchs-Moser told the German tabloid Bild: “It’s so sad. I am shocked. I still remember him very well. He was a fun-loving, nice guy. And yes, a Muslim [himself].”
Vrenezi had just returned from a six-month stint with the Austrian military and was considering a career in medicine.
“He has gone and many of his friends are crying because he would have done the world so much good like being a doctor or something,” one friend said. “We are trying to help him now with love and all be his big brother. But Nexhip’s life has been wasted by this pig.”
On Friday, meanwhile, German police said they were raiding apartments and offices over possible links to Fejzulai, Agence France-Presse reported.
The locations that were searched in the northeastern part of the country belong to four people who “are not believed to be involved in the attack,” according to the federal criminal agency.
“But there may be links to the alleged assassin,” it added on Twitter. “Two of the individuals are believed to have met the suspected assailant in July 2020 in Vienna.”
Eight of the 16 people detained after Monday night’s attack had previous convictions, the Austrian interior minister said Thursday.
Four of them had been convicted for terrorism-related offenses, two for violent crime offenses, and two for an attempted “honor killing”, Interior Minister Karl Nehammer told reporters.
“We have had intensive cooperation with the FBI,” which provided Austrian authorities with “valuable information”, Nehammer added, without giving further details.
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