Paris police shoot, injure attacker at Notre Dame Cathedral

French police shot and injured a man who attacked an officer with a hammer outside Paris's Notre Dame cathedral Tuesday, as he shouted "this is for Syria".

A police union official, Cedric Michel, said a man armed with a hammer went after the police officer, who was patrolling the esplanade in front of the world-famous cathedral known for its gothic architecture and gargoyles.

A woman in the area at the time said she heard two shots.

"His colleagues reacted with composure.and fired", Collomb told reporters near the cathedral in central Paris.

A man armed with a hammer has been arrested at Notre Dame.

Soderberg tweeted a photo from inside the Notre Dame showing those locked inside putting their arms in the air as instructed by police.

Lawrence Langner, a 73-year-old American visiting the neighborhood just across the Seine River from the cathedral, said he suddenly heard a commotion and two detonations like gunshots.

A police spokesperson told The Associated Press that the officer used his weapon to shoot the assailant.

20 April 2017 - A convicted criminal who was investigated for threatening to kill police opens fire at police on the Champs Elysees in Paris, killing one and wounding two.

Authorities have not released the name of the suspect but said he was carrying identification that showed he is an Algerian student. Join us in a conversation about world events, the newsgathering process or whatever aspect of the news universe you find interesting or important.

"We will remember this for the rest of our lives", she said. The man was shot in the leg and "neutralized" by police.

The attack came the day before new President Emmanuel Macron unveils his first efforts against terrorism, which Collomb called the president's top priority.

He said that he and his wife saw police holding their guns up as they ran towards someone.

The attacker, whose motives were unclear, lay injured on the ground as police sealed off the area.

We will update this story as further details emerge.

France remains under high alert following a string of attacks in recent years.

Karine Dalle, a spokeswoman for the Paris diocese, told BFM TV 900 people were inside the cathedral as police secured the area.

  • Leroy Wright