2 Dead in Fatal Attack on Police Officers in France

One officer and the gunman were killed
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 20, 2017 3:17 PM CDT
Updated Apr 20, 2017 4:43 PM CDT
2 Police Officers Shot, 1 Killed in Paris
In this image made from video, police attend the scene after an incident on the Champs-Elysees with Arc de Triomphe in background in Paris, Thursday April 20, 2017.   (AP Photo)

One officer was killed and two others seriously wounded when a man opened fire on a police van Thursday night in Paris, the AP reports. According to Reuters, a government source says the officers were specifically targeted in the attack on the Champs-Elysees. A witness describes the gunman firing multiple shots with a machine gun, and a government spokesperson calls the gun used a "war weapon." The gunman was shot and killed as he attempted to run away, the Telegraph reports. While a interior ministry spokesperson says it's too early to say if the shooting was a terror attack, prosecutors have opened a terror investigation, and French President Francois Hollande is "convinced the motive is likely to be terrorism." The Islamic State is reportedly claiming responsibility.

The apparent name of the shooter was known to security services. An arrest warrant has reportedly been issued for a second suspect. Early reports of a second officer dying, as well as reports of a second shooting, were incorrect. ABC News reports President Trump responded to the news of the shooting with condolences for France. "What can you say? It just never ends," the president said. France was already on high alert with police reportedly stopping a planned terror attack on Tuesday and the start of the presidential election just days away. The shooting bore some similarity to attacks on soldiers guarding the Louvre in February and Orly airport last month. (More Paris stories.)

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