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Latest: Paris gunman kills 1 officer, wounds 2 others

April 20, 2017 9:18 PM
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Two police officials say the assailant who shot a police officer to death and wounded two others on Paris' Champs Elysees had been flagged as an extremist.

The officials had no other details about the attacker. He was shot to death after opening fire on a police van.

French prosecutors have opened a terrorism investigation into the attack on police officers on Paris' famed Champs-Elysees boulevard.

The Paris prosecutor's office said counterterrorism investigators are involved in the probe into the Thursday attack that left a police officer and the attacker dead.

Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet says that police officers killed the attacker. He said one police officer was killed and two others were seriously injured and hospitalized.

Paris police spokeswoman Johanna Primevert says unidentified gunman appeared to be alone when he allegedly opened fire on a police vehicle.

French President Francois Hollande has scheduled an emergency meeting with Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve following the shootings.

The shooting happened as the country is under a state of emergency from a series of extremist attacks.

A Paris resident says the gunfire that erupted on the French capital's famed Champs-Elysees shopping district sent scores of tourists fleeing into side streets.

Badi Ftaiti, a Tunisian-born mason who has spent three decades in Paris, said the attack that officials say left one police officer dead and another wounded didn't panic him.

But the 55-year-old says visitors to the French "were running, running....Some were crying. There were tens, maybe even hundreds of them."

Asked whether the attack was evidence that "Paris isn't Paris" anymore, as claimed by Donald Trump, Ftaiti said the U.S. President is "barking up the wrong tree."

U.S. President Donald Trump says Thursday's fatal shooting in Paris "looks like another terrorist attack."

Paris police say a gunman has killed a police officer and wounded another before being killed himself in an attack on the Champs-Elysees shopping district.

It was unclear how Trump concluded that terrorism may have been a factor. Paris police havE yet to announce a motive,

Trump is also offering condolences from the U.S. to the people of France.

He calls the attack a "terrible thing" and says "it never ends." He says people must be strong and vigilant.

The attack came three days before the first round of balloting in France's presidential election.

Paris police and soldiers have sealed off the area around the Champs-Elysees after an attack on police, ordering tourists back into their hotels and blocking people from approaching the scene.

Emergency vehicles blocked the wide avenue that cuts across central Paris between the Arc de Triomphe and the Tuileries Gardens, normally packed with cars and tourists.

Subway stations in the area were closed off on Thursday night while police secure the scene.

Security forces are more widespread in Paris since deadly Islamic extremist attacks in recent years, and France remains under a state of emergency.

The French Interior Ministry says the shooting attack on the famed Champs-Elysees boulevard in Paris deliberately targeted police officers guarding the area.

Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said on BFM television that a man came out of a car and opened fire on a police vehicle.

He says police are securing the area but there is "no other police operation underway" in the popular area.

Brandet says it's too early to say whether the attacker might have had an accomplice, and said authorities are studying multiple potential motives.

Speaking in Washington during a news conference with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, U.S. President Donald Trump said the shooting in Paris "looks like another terrorist attack" and sent condolences to France.

Paris police say a gunman has killed a police officer and wounded another before being killed himself in an attack on the Champs-Elysees shopping district.

Paris police spokeswoman Johanna Primevert told The Associated Press that the attacker targeted police guarding the area near the Franklin Roosevelt subway station Thursday night at the centre of the avenue popular with tourists.

The attack came three days before the first round of balloting in France's tense presidential election. Security is high preceding the vote after police said they arrested two men Tuesday in what they described as a thwarted terror attack.

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.

A witness identified only as Ines told French television station BFM that she heard a shooting and saw a man's body on the ground before police quickly evacuated the area where she works in a shop.

A French television station hosting a televised event with the 11 candidates running for president briefly interrupted its broadcast to report the shootings.

Also read: Eyewitness News — Islamic State claims Paris shooting, one policeman killed

Source: ctvnews.ca

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