The suspect, who was shot lifeless by French police, was on the radar of the French home safety service DGSI, the supply mentioned.
The person was a French nationwide who shot two officers in 2001 after being stopped by a police automobile, the supply mentioned. He was taken into custody however whereas being questioned grabbed one other officer’s gun and shot him 3 times. He was convicted in that assault and had a felony file due to involvement in violent robberies, the supply mentioned.
The supply mentioned French investigators now imagine this was in all probability a terrorist assault. They imagine there was only one attacker, and the hazard is probably going over, the supply mentioned.
ISIS issued an announcement saying an Islamic State “fighter” carried out the assault. The ISIS declare comes through an announcement launched by the group’s media wing, Amaq. The ISIS assertion recognized the attacker and referred to as him “the Belgian.” CNN has not confirmed the attacker’s affiliation with Belgium.
Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins mentioned he’ll reveal the shooter’s identification on Friday at a information convention. He mentioned officers are looking the person’s residence in Chelles, Seine-et-Marne, a Paris suburb, and are attempting to find out if he had accomplices.
The capturing has not formally been declared a terrorist act however anti-terrorist forces are main the investigation, French President Francois Hollande mentioned.
“The individuals who had been current have been evacuated and we’re satisfied that the leads which level us to this case, and which can enable us to uncover the reality, are of a terrorist nature,” he mentioned.
Elections on Sunday
The capturing occurred about 9 p.m. native time (three p.m. ET) when a automobile stopped at 102 Champs-Elysees in entrance of a police van, Inside Ministry spokesman Pierre Henry Brandet mentioned.
A person emerged from the automobile and opened fireplace on the van with an “automated weapon,” killing one officer immediately, he mentioned. The person “then ran away, managing to shoot and wound two different policemen. Different policemen engaged and shot and killed the attacker,” Brandet mentioned.
The slain officer was 30 years previous, Molin mentioned. One of many wounded officers was critically injured however is enhancing, he mentioned. Additionally wounded was a feminine vacationer.
The capturing shut down the famed Champs-Elysees, considered one of Paris’ high vacationer sights and residential to the enduring Arc de Triomphe monument. The avenue was away from residents and vacationers however teeming with safety officers Thursday night time.
It comes three days earlier than French voters begin elections for a brand new president. Candidates went forward with a debate Thursday night time.
France has been in a state of emergency because the 2015 Paris assaults, which left 130 folks lifeless. Parliament voted in December to increase the extraordinary provisions to make sure the safety of upcoming presidential and normal elections.
Safety has been tight due to the vote. Simply two days in the past French authorities arrested two men in Marseille who had been allegedly planning an assault in a run-up to the election.
Not less than three underground practice stations of the Paris Metro — the Champs-Elysees-Clemenceau, George V and F. Roosevelt stations — have been “closed off” close to the positioning of the police operation on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, BFMTV reported.
Trump: ‘What are you able to say?’
Paris resident Daoud Kal, 29, mentioned he was strolling within the space close to a metro station when he heard 4 to 5 photographs. He appeared round, however could not establish the place the photographs had been coming from. Folks panicked and ran away from the scene and he joined them.
The CNN Paris bureau is on this avenue and staffers reported listening to a dozen photographs. Not less than 20 police autos had been seen on the road.
Officers may very well be seen forcibly eradicating harmless residents from the world as they tried to get them to security.
President Donald Trump, talking at a information convention in Washington with the visiting Italian Prime Minister, provided condolences to the folks of France after the capturing, saying it “appears like one other terrorist assault.”
“What are you able to say? It by no means ends,” the President mentioned.
The Champs-Elysees is a important highway lined with eating places, cafes, unique designer boutiques and vacationer outlets. At one finish is the Arc de Triomphe, surrounded by a several-lane-wide roundabout, and the opposite finish stops on the Place de la Concorde, recognized for its obelisk monument.
The presidential palace, the Elysee, is just a few blocks away.
French police tweeted, “Police intervention underway within the space of the #ChampsElysees keep away from the sector and observe the directions of the police forces.”
French candidates reply
The US State Division put out a cautionary tweet, saying: “For those who’re in #Paris, monitor native information. #ChampsElysees has been closed. Authorities are telling folks to keep away from the world after a capturing.”
French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen tweeted, “My feelings and solidarity for the police, as soon as once more focused.”
Conservative French presidential hopeful Francois Fillon tweeted, “Paying homage to police who give their lives to guard ours, #ChampsElysees.”
Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve tweeted: “Paying homage to the policeman killed on the champs elysees. Ideas are together with his household. Solidarity together with his injured colleagues and people near them.”
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy tweeted: “To our regulation enforcement: assist, energy, braveness. They’re paying once more a heavy value. Our Nation’s tribute should be whole NS”
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo tweeted: “We cannot quit, not bow and stay united dealing with these odious and insidious threats that weigh on our cities.”
She additionally prolonged a message of solidarity and due to the retailers on the Champs-Elysees who gave folks shelter throughout the assault.
Correction: This story has been up to date to make clear the extent to which French intelligence authorities had been monitoring the perpetrator earlier than the assault.