Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Attacker shoots 2 officers in Paris' Champs-Elysees district

Attacker shoots 2 officers in Paris' Champs-Elysees district

At least one policeman was killed by an assault weapon and two more injured in the attack before the gunman was killed by police counterfire.

The ministry said one police officer was killed.

Brandet said the shooting started at shortly after 9 p.m. when a auto stopped alongside a stationary police vehicle.

The Associated Press quoted police as saying the attack was possibly terror-related.

TV footage showed the Arc de Triomphe monument and top half of the Champs Elysees packed with police vans, lights flashing and heavily armed police shutting the area down after what was described by one journalist as a major exchange of fire near a Marks and Spencers store.

The attack comes three days before hotly contested presidential elections in France.

France has lived under a state of emergency declared following a terrorist attack in November 2015 that left 130 dead. The Tunisian-born French citizen was killed by law enforcement.

Because of its worldwide renown and its large number of visitors, the Champs Elysees has always been seen as a potential target, the BBC's Hugh Schofield reports from the French capital.

The attack came three days before the French presidential election.

Paris resident Daoud Kal, 29, said he was walking in the area near a metro station when he heard four to five shots.

He says police are securing the area but there is "no other police operation underway" in the popular area. "Authorities are telling people to avoid the area after a shooting".

Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve tweeted: "Paying homage to the policeman killed on the champs elysees. It just never ends".

Hollande, who is not running again for office in an election which holds its first round on Sunday, said: "We shall be of the utmost vigilance, especially in relation to the election".

The incident recalled two recent attacks on soldiers providing security at prominent locations around Paris, one at the Louvre museum in February and one at Orly airport last month. The second attacker escaped, reports said, but Brandet said it was too early to say whether the attacker had an accomplice. At the time of the shooting, all 11 presidential candidates were appearing on television.

None of the candidates immediately commented.

US President Donald Trump, speaking at a press conference in Washington, said the incident "looks like another terrorist attack" and sent his condolences to France.

Like this: