A gunman reportedly opened fire on policemen in central Paris. Police have advised people to avoid the area. An assailant has reportedly been neutralized.
París, April 20, 2017.- Paris police have warned people to avoid the Champs-Elysees area after French media reported that two police officers were shot and killed. The police said in their tweet: “Police operation taking place in the Champs-Elysees area. Avoid the area and comply with police instructions.”
French media sources suspect at least two assailants to be involved, with one reportedly having been neutralized by police.
The killed assailant was reportedly the one who had fired the shots on police, according to the Reuters news agency, and was known to security services.
Paris police spokeswoman Johanna Primevert told The Associated Press news agency that the neutralized attacker had deliberately targeted police officers guarding the area near the Franklin Roosevelt metro station at the center of the avenue.
Champs-Elysees under lockdown
Video footage shared on Twitter shows the world-famous shopping mile teeming with police vehicles following the incident. Helicopters were also seen flying low across the French capital. A number of metro stations in the area were closed, as “maximum security” precautions were taken. Explosives technicians were also dispatched to the scene.
French counter-terrorrism prosecutors announced that they opened an official probe into the assault. French President Francois Hollande has scheduled an emergency meeting following the shooting. The Ministry of the Interior has meanwhile implored the public to only share verified information about the event.