The Rivalry between the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers

Written By: Maggie Bennett

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – NOVEMBER 01: Defensive end Isaiah Buggs #96 of the Pittsburgh Steelers tackles quarterback Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens on fourth down late in the fourth quarterat M&T Bank Stadium on November 01, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

The rivalry between the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers has gone on for years now. On Nov. 1, the Ravens lost to the Steelers 28-24 in a close game. The game was very competitive as the score continued to go back and forth. It was a race against time and the last couple of seconds of the game the Ravens could have gotten a touchdown, but alas, they did not. 

  This was a heated game as one of the Ravens’ linebackers hit a referee. However, it was a misunderstanding as Matthew Judon was trying to be set free from the Steelers holding him back. According to the Baltimore Sun, “Referee Brad Allen announced that Judon “intentionally” made contact with field judge Rick Patterson, though it appeared to be incidental as Judon was trying to break free from the grasp of a Ravens assistant.” The National Football League (NFL) has fined the Baltimore Ravens team with $35,000 for hitting this referee. 

  It appears a lot went wrong on the sidelines during this game because the Steelers Coach, as the team was fined 250,000 dollars for not wearing masks, while Tomlin received a 100,000 dollar fine for not wearing his face covering. This is a beneficial action taken by the NFL that shows that the NFL is taking the pandemic seriously because they do not want their players, coaches and fans (if they are in the stadium) to contract COVID-19.

  This past Sunday though, the Ravens beat the Indianapolis Colts. They did not play well in the first half of the game, but by the end of half time they were able to make adjustments. The Ravens won against the Colts 24-10. The Pittsburgh Steelers were also in a bit of a nail biter game this past weekend against the Dallas Cowboys. The Steelers were trailing for most of this game, but again they won 24-19. “Head Coach Tomlin was happy about the win, but realistic about the performance”. He claims, “Obviously, we can’t keep having these conversations every week, because one of these weeks, we’re going to be doing it with an L if we’re not careful”. 

 Now for this weekend, the Ravens play against another one of their rivals, the New England Patriots. On the official Baltimore Ravens website, Belichick, the New England Patriots coach, still respects Jackson, the quarterback for the Ravens. Even though it seems like Jackson has lost his edge of being a running quarterback. This upcoming weekend, the Steelers play the Cincinnati Bengals, who have won two games, lost five games, and then one game was a tie.  

Overall, football this year has been exhilarating because of the COVID-19 cases; many teammates have gotten COVID, and yet the NFL continues on with their season. It is a risk the NFL is willing to take, though who knows if it is for the better. 

SMCM Welcomes Reava Potter as New Cross Country and Track and Field Coach

Written By: Devin Garner

On Monday, Nov. 2, St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM) athletics announced that Reava Potter had been hired as the head coach of the cross country and track and field teams. In the spring of 2020, it was announced that SMCM would be adding track and field to the list of varsity sports on campus, and Potter will build the new program as well as take the reins of the already established cross country team. 

Potter graduated from Temple University where she competed on the NCAA Division I track and field team for all four years. She served as a captain during her senior year, and qualified for the Atlantic-10 Championship in multiple events, including the heptathlon, triple jump, pentathlon and relays for all four of her seasons. Potter also received the Spirit and Sportsmanship Awards and served as a member of the NCAA Student Athlete Advisory Committee from 2007-2009. 

After graduating from Temple, Potter served as a graduate assistant coach to the track team and led her alma-mater to an Atlantic-10 Championship during the 2009-2010 season. After three years of working as a graduate assistant at Temple University, Potter became an assistant coach at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina. The following year, Potter took an assistant coaching position at Bethune-Cookman University for one year where she coached seventeen All-Conference athletes and led the men’s team to its first ever Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Championship. Under Potter’s guidance, three student-athletes at Bethune-Cookman University were named United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Americans. 

After her successful season at Bethune-Cookman University, Potter served as an assistant coach at the University of Alabama at Birmingham for four years, where she worked specifically with the multi-event, jumping and throwing athletes. During her time in Alabama, Potter coached three athletes to All-Conference titles in the NCAA Division I Conference USA. After coaching at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Potter arrived at Emmanuel College where she has spent the last two years as the head coach for both the cross country and indoor/outdoor track and field teams. While at Emmanuel College, Potter coached the women’s cross country team to the 2018 GNAC Championship as well as the women’s indoor track and field team to the GNAC Championship in 2020. Potter earned the accolades for 2020 GNAC Indoor Track and Field Women’s Coach of the Year. 

In the announcement released by SMCM Athletics, first-year athletic director Crystal Gibson noted that “Coach Potter from the beginning of the process, emerged as a top candidate through her ability to not only coach and recruit young men and women student-athletes, but also develop them into leaders in the sport and community.” Gibson continued to add that Potter “has proved her ability to recruit top-level student-athletes, athletically and academically – developing them into highly competitive athletes and leaders. Reava is an outstanding fit for the St. Mary’s College of Maryland community and I am confident she will bring a high level of success in building these programs for top level competition.” 

Tyler Wilson (‘22), a member of the SMCM men’s cross country team, explained that the cross country team found out about the hiring of Coach Potter in mid-October, and that the cross country team had the opportunity to meet with her over Zoom before she was officially hired. Wilson stated that the team was told that Potter would start as the head coach on Nov. 16, which potentially means that she could be responsible for assigning workout schedules over winter break. Workout schedules right now, Wilson explained, are being assigned by an assistant coach. 

Wilson mentioned that he is excited for Potter to take over the program and that he believes her prior experience as an athlete and as a collegiate coach will benefit the SMCM cross country and track and field programs. He stated, “I think Coach Potter’s experiences have prepared her for this moment, her experiences as a runner allow her to put herself in our shoes, and her experiences as a coach allow her to know their intricacies of form and other training techniques to help us all improve.”

It will be exciting to see the impact that Potter will have on the well-established cross country program, as well as the incoming track and field program. In the SMCM Athletics announcement, Potter stated: “I am very excited about the opportunity to take over the cross country teams and start a new track and field program. I would also like to thank Athletic Director Brendan McWilliams and Andy Yosinoff for giving me an opportunity to become a head coach at Emmanuel College. I am excited to see what I can accomplish at St. Mary’s College of Maryland!”

Winter Spotlight on The SMCM Swimming Team

Written By: Maggie Bennett

Photo courtesy of smcmathletics.com

As the winter season quickly approaches, the St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM) swim team is ready to get back in action . Their first practice was Sept. 21, where they were able to swim in the Michael P. O’Brien Athletics Center (MPOARC) at SMCM. However, due to the pandemic, the team is not scheduled for any swim meets. According to the SMCM Athletics Site of the St. Mary’s College Seahawks, they are “Following extensive discussions and planning; the Atlantic East Conference Presidents’ Council supported a recommendation from the NCAA Division III Administrative Council to postpone competition for the remainder of the Fall 2020 semester.”

Head coach of the SMCM swimming team, Casey Brandt says that, “It’s an interesting year for everyone, but I think comparatively the swim team is in a fairly good position.” They ended the 2019 season off with a bang. Their final win against Frostburg State University occurred on Jan. 18, and before then the team was on a hot-streak, dating back to  Jan. 4. 

As of Aug. 19, the team is a member of the Atlantic East Conference. In fact, the  “Commissioner Jessica Huntley and the Atlantic East Conference is proud to announce another affiliate addition to the league, welcoming St. Mary’s College of Maryland as an associate member in men’s and women’s swimming, effective Fall 2020.”

However, things are definitely different this year. According to Brandt, “with the pool space we have and our ability to distance in training, we have relatively few restrictions in our actual workouts.”  While the team is able to practice, they cannot all practice together. Coach Brandt says, “We are on a modified schedule so the training is not as intensive as in past seasons but we have been able to establish a consistent routine and get some much-needed interaction as a team.” Although they are not all together, they are still able to practice in the pool in the MPOARC. They team has also gotten together over zoom to discuss their hopes and goals for seasons to come.

Even though they are not scheduled to compete as they normally would, Brandt claims that “the lack of a competitive season has also given us the time to break down strokes and work on efficiency, which I believe will have long term benefit for our athletes.” Unfortunately, the seniors will not get to experience their senior season as other student athletes in the past have due to COVID-19.

Since the season is starting up Coach Brandt wants the team as a whole, “Overall, the ability to come together as a team consistently, focus on staying healthy both physically and mentally, and reconnect with technique fundamentals in our sport without the pressure of competition has been a positive experience and will give us a good foundation moving forward”. With the team focusing on staying mentally and physically healthy, this time could provide the team an opportunity to grow. It will also allow for more time to practice and  prepare for seasons to come.

St. Mary’s College of Maryland Men’s Soccer Continues to Work Despite Postponed Season

Written By: Devin Garner

Senior captain Juwan Kearson.

The St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM) Men’s Soccer team has been a force to be reckoned with under the leadership of head coach Alun Oliver (‘04). Despite not having a season, they have continued to maintain their vision as a well-run program. The team has been holding practices throughout the fall semester that abide by COVID-19 regulations put in place with the hope of possibly having a season in the spring.

When asking Josh Luongo (‘22) of the impact that head coach Alun Oliver has had on the team throughout the global pandemic, he stated: “he has been really helpful and supportive during these hard times… He is always telling us to stay positive and be flexible during these hard times. Coach [Oliver] is a very positive person and it wears off on the team.” While the postponement of the season has been difficult for many members of the team, Oliver has nevertheless been a stabilizing force to lead his team. 

As a result of the season being postponed, the team has also had to find creative ways to meet as a team. Aidan Kelley (‘22) remarked that the team has found ways to continue to connect as he states, “As a team, we try to meet on Zoom at least once a week in order to include those who are off campus this semester.” Jacob Breslauer (‘22) states that the team has also found a way to connect for those who are on campus for the semester as he remarks, “Everyone on the team gets along, so everyone on campus will go to the docks or somewhere else where we can be together safely but still enjoy being around as a family.” 

In addition to connecting with the team as a whole, the upperclassmen have had to find a way to mentor their first-year teammates. While this has not been an easy task with the current regulations in place, the upperclassmen have continued to find a way. Luongo responded by saying that the upperclassmen have been mentoring the younger players by “Giving them tips on how stuff around campus works and making sure they are following COVID-19 regulations. We have also been helping them with their classes. The upperclassmen have set a high standard both on and off the field.” Kelley went on by stating that “We have just tried to be as positive and as helpful as possible. All of us understand that this year has been very different from past years, so we all have been reaching out more than usual to make sure we are still making them feel welcome to the team.” 

While a potential season is still up in the air, the future of the SMCM men’s soccer team is very bright. As Luongo argues, “The future of this team is exciting. We have a winning culture and a coach who is always going to do what is best for the team. [Oliver] is always going to make SMCM men’s soccer a good program.” Under the leadership of Oliver and the talented upperclassmen, SMCM men’s soccer is in good hands for years to come.

NFL Reaches Midpoint in Groundbreaking Season Amid Pandemic

Written By: Maggie Warnick

This fall, the professional football season has looked a lot different than previous years due to the coronavirus. However, difficulties for the National Football League (NFL) continue, especially as the case count rises across the U.S. Protocols to prevent a COVID-19 outbreak in the league have been put in place and altered as players on several teams have tested positive throughout the season. Various outbreaks and positive tests have led to games being delayed, postponed and rescheduled as  the league coordinates this unique season. After a period of much disruption, the schedule has been able to remain as planned over the recent weeks.

In spite of this stability, the NFL continues to have to crack down on teams who do not adhere to the COVID-19 protocols, issuing fines and disciplinary actions for violations. According to The Hill, the Seattle Seahawk, Denver Broncos, San Francisco 49ers and Tennessee Titans have been fined upwards of $250,000 for transgressions of the regulations. The head coaches have also been fined, with many pointing to them as culpable for not enforcing the guidelines with their respective teams. Some of the broken guidelines in question include not wearing masks, illicit player gatherings and using team facilities after hours. The NFL stated that they believe breaking these protocols contributed to the first major outbreak of COVID-19 among the Titans. 

According to the NFL Network, the Pittsburgh Steelers have also been fined recently for failing to properly wear masks at all times during their Nov. 1 game against the Baltimore Ravens. This included the head coach, Mike Tomlin, who was fined $100,000. The need to adhere to the regulations became even more clear when after the game the Ravens’ cornerback Marlon Humphrey tested positive for the virus. 

Later in the week, the Steelers announced that a staff member had tested positive, and announced in a team statement: “The Steelers are working with the NFL and medical advisors to complete the necessary contact tracing. We will continue to evaluate the situation and make the appropriate adjustments as necessary, that best protect our players, coaches, and staff members.” 

Notably, the Las Vegas Raiders have been fined several times, amassing over $1.2 million for coronavirus related infractions, according to the NFL Network. As the team was a repeat offender, they have been stripped of a sixth-round draft pick by the NFL, the first team to be disciplined in this manner. According to Reuters, the team owner has plans to appeal these fines. 

As the season goes on, the NFL continues to adjust protocols and set new procedures for the professional football teams as the first professional sports league to have a full and uninterrupted season during the pandemic.

After a Shortened 2020 Season, Major League Baseball Free Agency is Underway

Written By: Devin Garner

ARLINGTON, TX – OCTOBER 17: Justin Turner #10 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates with Manager Dave Roberts #30 after the Dodgers defeated the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 6 of the NLCS at Globe Life Field on Saturday, October 17, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Kelly Gavin/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

On Nov. 1, 2020, Major League Baseball (MLB) free agency began. After a shortened season filled with disappointment for many major league teams, each team has hope to acquire players during this period that will improve their roster. Headlining the list of free agents this season include pitcher Trevor Bauer, catcher J.T. Realmuto, outfielder George Springer, outfielder Marcell Ozuna and infielder DJ LeMahieu. 

As each team has their own needs heading into the offseason, many seek after the big names that headline the market. With the big spending that took place last season during free agency with the acquisitions of players such as Anthony Rendon and Gerrit Cole, many free agents this year are likely to be highly paid for their services. 

The 2020 MLB Cy Young Award Winner is the most highly sought after pitcher in this year’s free agency. In 2020, Bauer posted a 1.73 earned run average (ERA) across 73 innings pitched. According to ESPN: “He went 5-4 with an NL-best 1.73 ERA in 11 starts, helping the Reds to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2013. Animated on the field and outspoken off of it, the 29-year-old right hander struck out 100 in 73 innings and led the majors with two shutouts…” Potential suitors for the pitcher include the New York Mets, Los Angeles Angels and Atlanta Braves.

Another impact player who many teams have their eye on is former Philadelphia Phillies catcher, J.T. Realmuto. Not only is Realmuto a well-renowned catcher, but he is also a force to be reckoned with in the batter’s box. Realmuto has a career batting average of .278. Potential suitors for the well-renowned catcher are the Washington Nationals, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees, New York Mets and St. Louis Cardinals.

2017 World Series Champion outfielder George Springer is another player that MLB executives hope to build their outfield around. According to Brian McTaggart of MLB.com: “Springer, 31, will be one of the biggest names on the free-agent market this offseason and will be looking to cash in following a regular season in which he posted an .899 OPS with 14 homers and 32 RBIs in 51 games. He hit four postseason homers, giving him a franchise-record 19 in the playoffs.” Teams that have expressed interest in the stud outfielder include the Houston Astros, St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Red Sox, New York Mets and Washington Nationals.

Infield phenom DJ LeMahieu is another player who has hit the open market with aspirations of making big money. LeMahieu has been a significant force in the New York Yankees lineup since 2019 after arriving from the Colorado Rockies. He holds a career .305 batting average and numerous accolades since his MLB debut in 2011. Possible destinations for LeMahieu include the New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers and the St. Louis Cardinals.

Regardless of where the big-named players land in free agency, they are sure to leave an impact. As teams continue to pursue these highly sought-after players, fans can sit back and root for their favorite team to sign one of these players.

The Discovery of 300-year-old Slave Quarters

Written By: Clare Kelly 

Just 22 miles from St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM), a team of archeologists, collectively from the Maryland Department of Transportation and SMCM, discovered 300-year-old slave quarters. Located at Newtowne Neck State Park, the remains were originally found in the middle of October, but as the digging continued the archeologists realized they had found something extraordinary. As reported by CNN travel on Nov. 2, 2020, the state park “was once the site of a Jesuit plantation in southern Maryland.” From the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration, Julie Schablitsky, the chief archeologist on the site, said, “This is a very rare and exciting discovery because we don’t have any similar types of sites…there was so much potential for this be erased but, by some sort of miracle, we still have evidence of their homes an lives after so many years.” According to CNN Travel news, the “site has remained almost entirely preserved.” 

According to an interview with WBALTV11, this project began around five years ago when the team completed a “site surveying excavation;” the excavation team was brought on site this mid-October. Remnants of wooden fencing, or a palisade, along with a “midden” filled with “oyster shells, animal bones, used pipes and even old coins” were among the artifacts discovered. As reported by WBALTV 11, scientists working on the excavation site found DNA on the items; this proved what area in Africa the enslaved people came from. The archeologists have finished excavating the site, but they plan to return next year to continue their research. 

On Oct. 27, the Maryland Transportation State Highway Administration released a press statement on the discovery and continuing excavation of the slave quarters. The excavation site is located near the Newtown Manor, where Jesuit missionaries once resided. Dr. Julie Schalitsky spoke of the Jesuit presence in the area. She mentions how the Jesuit missionaries of this area kept very organized records. Despite their record-keeping, not much information survived regarding the African Americans enslaved on the Manor, who worked in both the fields and the Catholic Church. Schalitsky said, “If there was ever a place in Maryland that holds the story of diverse cultures converging to find religious freedom in an environment of conflict, sacrifice, and survival, it is here.” While the Maryland Department of Natural Resources led the excavation, archeologists from SMCM also took part in the research as reported by The Baltimore Sun. 

In an interview with CNN, Schablitsky said that the land they were excavating had not been touched for years, or, as she put it, “had not been plowed for a while.” She explains that if the land had been plowed,  the site would have been further under the ground; however, “the soil remained intact.” 

One artifact found, as reported by CNN, was a 1740 George II coin. The identification of this coin must have been recently discovered, as only CNN’s Nov. 2 report mentions the discovery.

How Mail-in Ballots impacted the 2020 Presidential Election

Written By: Dylan Parham

Americans requested over 92 million mail-in ballots for the 2020 Presidential election, according to the U.S. Election Project. As of Nov. 6, over 65 million mail-in ballots were returned to election offices, leaving about 26 million mail-in ballots outstanding. The U.S. Election Project was created and maintained by the University of Florida political science professor Michael P. McDonald.  It tracks voter turnout for U.S. elections, including early voting. With the data from the following states; CA, CO, FL, IA, MD, ME, NC, NJ, NM, NV, OR, PA, UT. The U.S. Election Project reported that registered Democrats made up 44.1% of requested ballots while registered Republicans made up 26.7%. The gap in mail-in ballots requests by Republicans could be attributed to President Trump criticizing mail-ballots. On television, at rallies and on Twitter, Trump has falsely claimed that mail-in ballots “lead to massive corruption and fraud,” that foreign powers will “forge ballots” and that the “only way we’re going to lose this election is if the election is rigged.” The statement was reported by Times. In key swing states; Pennsylvania, Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Iowa, Minnesota, mail-in ballots had up to about a quarter or more of the total ballots counted, also reported by the Times.

The Supreme Court has even weights in on mail-in ballots in three states. On Oct. 26, a 5-3 ruling upheld a federal appeals court ruling to disallow ballots to be received up to six days after the Wisconsin election. On Oct. 28, a tied decision allowed a lower court decision to allow Mail-in ballots to arrive three days after Election Day in Pennsylvania. However, the Trump campaign is currently filing a lawsuit to stop the certification of the election results in Pennsylvania and to “throw out” mail-in ballots that were received and counted after Nov. 3, according to the Associated Press. On Oct. 28, the court rejected two challenges to allow ballots to arrive up to nine days after Election Day, so long as it is postmarked by Nov. 3 in North Carolina. 

Mail-ballots were also one of the causes of the media’s delay calling a winner on Nov. 3. Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Alabama, and Mississippi started counting mail-ballots on the election. Other states had an abnormal amount of mail-in ballots. Michigan received more than 3.1 million absentee ballots for the general election. According to CNN, cities in Michigan with least 25,000 residents were given more time—an extra 10 hours on Nov. 2, the day before the election— to process but not count ballots. Processing includes removing ballots from their outer envelopes and preparing them for tabulation. On Nov. 7,  election officials in Pennsylvania released enough ballots to name former Vice President Biden the winner of their electoral college votes after days of counting mail-in ballots. As of Nov. 10, ballots are still being counted in Alaska, Arizona, California, and Georgia, many of which are mail-in ballots. In Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, these delays result in the Presidential race not being called by a few media outlets. In California, the wait is preventing four congressional races from being called. All according to the New York Times.  

On Nov. 10, 2020, the Maryland state board of elections reported that over 1.2 million mail-in ballot votes for president were counted compared to the two hundred thirty-two thousand counted for the 2016 presidential election.

The Race is Over: 2020 Election Results

Written By: Maeve Ballantine

After months of campaigning, debates, and ads for different candidates flooding phones, TVs and radios, the 2020 presidential election has finally come to its conclusion. America now has a new President: Joe Biden.

When Barack Obama completed his second term, most Americans thought they had seen the last of Biden. However, the former vice president announced he was running for office on April 25, 2019. He began campaigning along with the other Democratic candidates, including Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar. At first it seemed that Senator Sanders would be the candidate to receive the democratic nomination, with his victory in the Iowa Debate, however, Biden began gaining popularity, earning 49% of the popular vote in South Carolina, according to independent.co.uk. In early March, Buttigieg and Klobuchar both dropped out of the race and publicly endorsed Biden in his campaign. However, the race was stalled with the outbreak of COVID-19 in America. Most if not all of the public rallies had to be cancelled or downsized, which made campaigning itself difficult. However, while the rallies were cancelled, debates were still held. Therefore, Sanders and Biden went head to head on March 15, at an audience free debate. Sanders took this victory, however decided to end his campaign in April. In June, Joe Biden won the democratic party nomination and began his campaign trail against current President Trump

The summer consisted of campaigning and primary voting in different states, showing mixed results. In Delaware, Biden took 90% of the popular vote and 86% in New Jersey, showing a resounding support for the Democratic candidate. In Puerto Rico, however, the vote was a very close 56% victory for Biden. Initial campaigns were not the only course of action taken this summer. There were several debates between Biden and Trump. Results, of course, were mixed as they usually were; however, general consensus, according to a poll done by c-span, showed that Trump took a victory in the first debate. A second debate was scheduled but was ultimately cancelled due to COVID. The final debate, taking place on Oct.22, listed a victory for Biden, according to NBC. Finally, on Nov. 3, it was time to begin voting.

Since voting in person would be dangerous for some people who are immunocompromised or elderly, a good portion of the votes were cast through mail. There were still people who voted in person; however, the voting took much longer than it usually did. The country watched as the number of electoral votes climbed higher for each candidate, wondering who would be the first to reach 270. Finally, on Saturday Nov. 7, Joe Biden surpassed the needed amount of electoral votes, securing the victory for president. However, there are those who believe that there were cases of voter fraud, due to so many  votes being submitted through mail, and due to the fact that it took almost three days for the state of Nevada to submit all the electoral votes, but the answer is concrete. Biden is now the 46th President of the United States.

Terror Attack in Vienna, Target Unclear

Written By: Hannah Yale

On the night of Monday, Nov. 2, 4 people were killed and at least 14 others were wounded during a terrorist attack in the Austrian capital of Vienna. One gunman was killed by police. Witnesses from the scene claim that about 50 shots total were exchanged during the attack. The Vienna police originally believed that there were multiple attackers, but after a city-wide search, a search of the gunman’s apartment, and analysis of live footage from the attack, they determined that he had acted alone. The gunman, 20-year-old Kujtim Fejzulai, was called an Islamic State (ISIS) “sympathizer” by Austrian Interior Minister Karl Nehammer. Fejzulai, who had both Austrian and Macedonian citizenship, had been jailed for 22 months in April 2019 after attempting to travel to Syria to join ISIS jihadists, according to Interior Minister Nehammer. BBC News reported that ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack on their news outlet, Amaq. 

The 4 victims who were shot and killed at the scene were: a 21-year-old man originally from North Macedonia who was described as a painter and a lover of football; a 24-year-old woman from Germany who had been studying at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna and who was killed in front of the Salzamt restaurant where she worked as a waitress; a 39-year-old Austrian man who was shot in front of a bar and was later found dead; and a 44-year-old Austrian woman who was shot and died later in hospital of her wounds.

The shooting took place the night before a second COVID-19 lockdown in Austria, in an area Viennese locals call the “Bermuda Triangle”: a web of streets packed with bars, pubs, and city nightlife. It is also home to Vienna’s main Jewish synagogue, the Stadttempel. Authorities have not yet determined who was the target of the attack. Oskar Deutsch, the president of the Jewish Religious Community in Austria, said on Twitter that the shooting had occurred “in the immediate vicinity” of the temple, but that it was closed at the time and it was unclear whether the synagogue was specifically targeted. Nonetheless, Jewish communities are remaining vigilant, especially as antisemitic hate crime rates escalate across the globe. 

The Stadttempl was the only Jewish house of worship in Austria to survive the Nazi pogrom Kristallnacht, also called the “Night of Broken Glass.” The 82nd anniversary of Kristallnacht took place on Nov. 9, just days after the terror attack.