A shooting on Paris’ Champs-Elysees Thursday night left one police officer dead, along with at least one shooter. The violence occurred at one of the world’s most renowned boulevards, just three days before France’s presidential election.
Here’s what you need to know:
Around 9 p.m. Paris time (3 p.m. eastern) gunshots were heard around a Marks & Spencer store on Champs-Elysees in central Paris, prompting passersby and tourists to flee the area in panic. Two policeman were hit, according to Reuters, one of whom was killed. The other died of his wounds shortly after the shooting, Reuters reports.
It’s unclear what motivated the incident, though French prosecutors have opened a terrorism investigation into it. A French Interior Ministry spokesperson said it was “too early” to identify a motive in the attack, according to Reuters, but said on BFM TV, a French television network, that the police officers were deliberately targeted.
U.S. President Donald Trump, however, suggested terrorism as motivation. “It’s a terrible thing…it looks like another terrorist attack. What can you say. It never ends,” he said at a press conference on Thursday.
Who fired the shots?
At least two attackers fired the shots, according to Reuters. One got out of a car at the scene and began firing a machine gun, officials said. One shooter was killed, officials said, later adding that the shooter was known to security services. Police began searching the home of the dead attacker, Reuters reports.
Is the area closed?
Champs-Elysees was closed off following the attack and Paris’ metro subway is not stopping at stations near the area for the time being. France has been in a state of emergency since 2015 in the wake of numerous terrorist attacks that have killed over 200 people in the past two years.