1 officer dead, 1 wounded in attack in Paris
- Author: Leroy Wright Apr 21, 2017,
Apr 21, 2017, 2:27
At least one policeman was killed by an assault weapon and two more injured in the attack before the gunman was killed by police counterfire.
Paris police spokeswoman Johanna Primevert told The Associated Press that the attacker appeared to be acting alone.
Then a sound like gunshots could be heard, which led to police shouting at the journalist and her cameraman to run for cover.
Police and soldiers sealed off the area, ordering tourists back into hotels and blocking people from approaching the scene.
The attack came three days before the first round of France's tense presidential election.
A second officer was reportedly injured in what police said was an attack that deliberately targeted police.
While it remained unclear what was behind the latest spasm of deadly violence in Paris, the city has had to contend with a series of terrorist attacks that have terrified the French.
Two men were arrested two days ago in Marseille who police said had been planning an attack ahead of the election. They had no other details about him.
SITE Intel, a USA -based organization that monitors worldwide terror groups reported ISIS' claims of responsibility for the attaack that came came days before the first round of the French presidential election.
In a statement from its Amaq news agency, the extremist group gave a pseudonym for the shooter indicating he was Belgian.
Interior Ministry Spokesman Pierre-Henri Brandit said that the suspect got out of a auto and opened fire on a police van, killing one officer.
US President Donald Trump said the shooting resembled recent terrorist attacks.
The shooting shut down the famed Champs-Elysees, one of Paris' top tourist attractions and home to the iconic Arc de Triomphe monument.
Later reports suggested a auto pulled up by a stationary police minivan.
"They were running, running", said 55-year-old Badi Ftaïti, who lives in the area. "Some were crying. There were tens, maybe even hundreds of them".
France is in a state of emergency and at its highest possible level of alert since a string of terror attacks that began in 2015, which have killed over 230 people.
Hollande says has convened a National Defense and Security Council to meet on Friday morning.
It happened as presidential candidates made their last pitches in a TV appearance before Sunday's election.
None of the candidates immediately commented.