One police officer has been shot dead, and two have been wounded in attack on the Champs-Elysees in Paris. A single gunman was killed fleeing the scene.
The BBC reports at around 9 p.m. local time, a car pulled up beside a police van, and a man got out. He opened fire with an automatic weapon on the police van managing to kill an officer. He was shot by security forces as he attempted to escape.
French President François Hollande said he’s convinced the attack was “terrorist related.” The Islamic State (IS) has claimed responsibility for the attack. “On the face of it, the officers were deliberately targeted,” France’s Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said. Hollande plans to meet with his security cabinet Friday morning.
I.S.’s official news outlet Amaq identified the attacker as Abu-Usuf al-Baljki. French prosecutors will not confirm because of an ongoing investigation.
The attack comes at the end an election campaign. 11 candidates are competing for President, and appearing on television together as the attack happened. Several candidates include Marnie Le Pen and have both cancelled campaign events scheduled for Friday out of respect for the fallen officer. Hollande has promised a national tribute to the fallen officer.
US President Donald Trump was one of the first world leaders to comment. “Our condolences from our country to the people of France,” he said. “It looks like another terrorist attack and… what can you say? It just never ends.”