'You function to save your kids' - Ex-Germany striker Helmes reflects on horror of witnessing Vienna terror attack

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The 37-year-old said he was only 30 metres from the shooting and had to hide under a table in a restaurant

Former Germany national team striker Patrick Helmes has recounted the horrors of witnessing a terrorist attack in Vienna in November.

Helmes, who is currently the coach of the reserve side of Austrian Bundesliga outfit FC Flyeralarm Admira, was at a restaurant with his family when the attack took place. 

Four people were killed in the attack before police killed the shooter– a 20-year-old man. 

What was said?

In an interview with Goal and SPOX, Helmes recounted the horror of being just 30 metres from the attack.  

"I was in a restaurant with my wife and my kids, some 30 metres away from the attack," the 37-year-old said. "When people came rushing in, we first thought that it was a surprise for a birthday party at the table next to us.

"But things turned hectic and people were screaming: 'Someone is shooting outside.' Everything turned chaotic and people started to hide.

"We barricaded ourselves in some sort of garbage room for two hours, then in the kitchen and finally under the tables. We lost our sense of time. All in all, we were in that restaurant for seven and a half hours. Then everything was called off and people were able to leave.

"The feeling is hard to describe. You just function because you want to save your kids. It was interesting to see how people react when they fear death.

"As parents, my wife and I cared about our kids first and foremost. Everybody else just tried to protect themselves.

"We were at the wrong place at the wrong time. Thinking about that day still feels surreal today. Fortunately, nothing happened to us and it just gave us a big scare." 

Who is Patrick Helmes?

Helmes began his professional career in 2005 with FC Koln, Helmes went on to play for Bayer Leverkusen and Wolfsburg before returning to Koln, where he ended his career in 2015.

The forward scored 45 goals in 98 Bundesliga appearances, and also netted twice in 13 games with the Germany national team.

Following retirement, Helmes began his coaching career with FC Koln II, before moving to Austria to join FC Flyeralarm Admira in 2020. 

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