French police say at least one police officer is dead and two are seriously injured as a result of a shooting in Paris Thursday night. The gunman was reportedly killed near the Champs-Elysees and it is believed that they acted alone.
UPDATE 4:16 P.M. – Reports of new shots fired near Avenue des Champs Élysées, in Paris are coming in.
Is This A Terrorist Attack?
ISIS has claimed responsibility for this attack.
French media reported gunfire shortly after 9:00 P.M. local time in the French capital. At least one officer was killed while in a car stopped at a red light by a drive-by attacker. Two others were seriously injured. The Interior Ministry spokesperson said on BFM TV that officers were deliberately targeted.
A helicopter has been seen flying low over the city in the wake of the shooting.
The shooting comes just a few days before France’s presidential election and just two hours after a police lockdown on Rue de Rivoli – a nearby street in the heart of the city. The Paris Metro was suspended at the station on the street as officers sealed off the road.
The French president has scheduled an emergency meeting as a result of the attack.
“We need to realize our security, law enforcement forces targeted have the full support of the nation,”President Francois Hollande said in an address to the nation.
It is not yet known whether the street closure and the shooting are linked, but Police are warning people to stay away from the Champs Elysees area.
A witness told Reuters that one man got out of a car at the scene and began shooting with a “Kalashnikov” machine gun.
The attacker was known by secret service in France as an extremist, officials confirmed to Fox News. Police sources told France 24 searches are currently ongoing at the home of the gunman.
Central Paris is on lockdown. France remains on high alert following the 2015 Paris attacks. The state of emergency was recently extended until the 2017 French elections are done on Sunday, May 7.
Earlier this week, two men were arrested in Marseille whom police said had been planning an attack ahead of the election.
A machine gun, two hand guns and three kilos of TATP explosive were among the weapons found at a flat in the southern city along with jihadist propaganda materials according to the Paris prosecutor.
The Avenue des Champs-Élysées is an avenue in the 8th arrondissement of Paris, 1.9 kilometres long and 70 metres wide, running between the Place de la Concorde and the Place Charles de Gaulle, where the Arc de Triomphe is located. It was inaugurated on March 2, 1864.
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