The suspect, who was shot useless 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 prison report due to involvement in violent robberies, the supply mentioned.
The supply mentioned French investigators now consider this was in all probability a terrorist assault. They consider 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 by way of 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 try to find out if he had accomplices.
The taking pictures has not formally been declared a terrorist act however anti-terrorist forces are main the investigation, French President Francois Hollande mentioned.
“The individuals who have been current have been evacuated and we’re satisfied that the leads which level us to this case, and which is able to enable us to uncover the reality, are of a terrorist nature,” he mentioned.
Elections on Sunday
The taking pictures 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 taking pictures shut down the famed Champs-Elysees, one in every of Paris’ high vacationer points of interest and residential to the long-lasting Arc de Triomphe monument. The avenue was away from residents and vacationers however teeming with safety officers Thursday evening.
It comes three days earlier than French voters begin elections for a brand new president. Candidates went forward with a debate Thursday evening.
France has been in a state of emergency for the reason that 2015 Paris assaults, which left 130 individuals useless. Parliament voted in December to increase the extraordinary provisions to make sure the safety of upcoming presidential and basic elections.
Safety has been tight due to the vote. Simply two days in the past French authorities arrested two men in Marseille who have been allegedly planning an assault in a run-up to the election.
No less than three underground prepare stations of the Paris Metro — the Champs-Elysees-Clemenceau, George V and F. Roosevelt stations — have been “closed off” close to the location 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 pictures. He regarded round, however could not establish the place the pictures have 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 pictures. No less than 20 police automobiles have been seen on the road.
Officers could possibly be seen forcibly eradicating harmless residents from the realm as they tried to get them to security.
President Donald Trump, talking at a information convention in Washington with the visiting Italian Prime Minister, supplied condolences to the individuals of France after the taking pictures, 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 predominant street 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 a couple of 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: “When you’re in #Paris, monitor native information. #ChampsElysees has been closed. Authorities are telling individuals to keep away from the realm after a taking pictures.”
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, power, braveness. They’re paying once more a heavy value. Our Nation’s tribute have to be complete NS”
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo tweeted: “We can’t surrender, not bow and stay united going through 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 individuals shelter throughout the assault.
Correction: This story has been up to date to make clear the extent to which French intelligence authorities have been monitoring the perpetrator earlier than the assault.