Two Turkish MMA fighters were hailed as heroes for coming to the aid of an elderly woman and an injured police officer during the terrorist attack that took place in Vienna, Austria, on November 2nd.
The two fighters, Recep Tayyip Gultekin and Mikail Ozer, were present at the city centre in Vienna when a gunman opened fire on people beside the city’s largest synagogue. Four people were killed and another 22 were wounded. A shootout with the police soon spread to six different locations in the city.
The gunman, an ISIS sympathizer, was later shot dead. He was reportedly “equipped with a fake explosive vest and an automatic rifle, a handgun and a machete to carry out this repugnant attack on innocent citizens,” according to Interior Minister Karl Nehammer.
14 people have been arrested following a series of police raids.
In a viral video, Ozen can be heard shouting “take cover” in Turkish while Gultekin sustained a bullet wound in his leg. The fighters managed to help an elderly woman and injured police officer reach safety after a third man, Palestinian native Osama Joda, gave the officer first aid.
“An old woman was heading towards the scene, walking on foot. When we saw the woman, we stopped and went downstairs. We also took that woman to a safe place,” Ozen told Turkish outlet Hurriyet. “Then we came to the subway station [seen] in those images. I saw the police shot there.”
Gultekin later told Turkish news channel Ahaber: “When I turned around, the terrorist took cover at me, we came eye to eye while shooting, and the moment I met that eye, there was no fear or doubt in me. There, with the reflex given to me by my brain, I rolled on the ground and ran, zigzag running and ran downstairs and went to the police building and told about what happened.”
Ozen holds a 1-2 record in MMA but has not competed in the sport since 2017, while Gultekin’s record is unknown. Both fighters, as well as Joda have been praised for their efforts during the attack.
“No terrorist attack will succeed in tearing up or dividing our society,” Interior Minister Karl Nehammer declared.