With just days until the first round of the French presidential election, one policeman was killed and another wounded in a shooting incident on the historic Champs-Elysees in Paris.
The shootout took place around 21:00 (local time) near the Franklin D. Roosevelt metro station in the 8th district of the French capital, in front of a Marks and Spencer store, French RTL TV and BFM TV reported.
The who fired on police on the Champs-Elysees shopping boulevard just days ahead of France’s presidential election has been killed, the source said. A police source also said there had been two assailants, and a witness told Reuters that one man got out of a car at the scene and began shooting with a Kalashinkov machine gun.
Police authorities called on the public to avoid the area.
A Reuters reporter saw a helicopter flying low over central Paris, apparently part of a follow-up police operation.
French TV channel BFM broadcast footage of the Arc de Triomphe monument and top half of the Champs Elysees packed with police vans, lights flashing and heavily armed police shutting the area down after what was described by one journalist as a major exchange of fire nears a Marks and Spencers store.
The incident came as French voters prepared go to the polls on Sunday in the most tightly-contested presidential election in living memory.
France has lived under a state of emergency since 2015 and has suffered a spate of Islamist militant attacks that have killed more than 230 people in the past two years.
As Reuters adds, earlier this week, two men were arrested in Marseille whom police said had been planning an attack ahead of the election.
A machine gun, two hand guns and three kilos of TATP explosive were among the weapons found at a flat in the southern city along with jihadist propaganda materials according to the Paris prosecutor.
JUST IN: Police officer killed after gunshots in Paris, attacker “taken down,” BFMTV reports … pic.twitter.com/4ZgZMnNqxE
— Ryan Wolfe (@ele_wolfe) April 20, 2017
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JUST IN: Possible shooting shuts Champs-Élysées in Paris: reports https://t.co/AptgHR2SG5
— NBC News (@NBCNews) April 20, 2017
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) April 20, 2017
— Charles Baudry (@CharlesBaudry) April 20, 2017
The French police have told the local population to avoid the area of the Champs Elysees which is on lock down, while social media add that riot police has been dispatched.
— Melissa Bell (@MelissaBellCNN) April 20, 2017
— Allie Fowler (@historynerd94) April 20, 2017
According to subsequent news reports the shooter, who was allegedly armed with a Kalashnikov, has been killed.
— info75 (@encolere75) April 20, 2017
BREAKING: One policeman killed after shooting incident on Champs Elysees in Paris; person who fired on police killed
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) April 20, 2017
Police said that the shooting was probably a “terrorist act”
French police say shooting in the Champs-Elysees area of Paris in which one police officer has been killed was probably “a terrorist act”
— Sky News Newsdesk (@SkyNewsBreak) April 20, 2017