“Extremist” With Kalashnikov Shoots Three Police Officers in Paris at Champs Élysées, One Dead
Un policier mort dans son vehicule un autre blessée (pronostic inconnue). Suspect abattus #ChampsElysees pic.twitter.com/UKFwrixso5— Les Murmures (@PatrioteGeek) April 20, 2017
PARIS (Reuters) - A French policeman was shot dead and two others were wounded in a shooting in central Paris on Thursday night before the gunman himself was killed by officers, police and the Interior Ministry said.
A second suspect thought to be involved in the incident on the Champs Elysees shopping boulevard just days ahead of France's presidential election was still on the loose.
The famous wide street that leads away from the Arc de Triomphe that had earlier been crowded with Parisians and tourists enjoying a spring evening remained closed off at around 11:00 PM (2100 GMT), some two hours or more after the incident.
France has lived under a state of emergency since 2015 and has suffered a spate of Islamist militant attacks that have killed more than 230 people in the past two years.
The French prosecutors' office said the counter-terrorism office had opened an inquiry. Interior ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said it was too early to say what the motive of the attack was, but that it was clear the police officers had been deliberately targeted.
"A little after 9 PM a vehicle stopped alongside a police car which was parked. Immediately a man got out and fired on the police vehicle, mortally wounding a police officer," Brandet said.
Officers at the scene said they were searching for a potential second assailant, and a police source said an arrest warrant had been issued for a suspect in the shooting who had arrived in Paris from Belgium by train.