Police are scouring Paris after a gunman killed a police officer and injured another man the day after suspected Islamists murdered 12 in the headquarters of a satirical magazine.
A man opened fire on the victims in the southern Montrouge district of the French capital at around 8.00am local time this morning, hitting a policewoman in the back and another victim, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve told reporters at the scene surrounded by heavy security. The police officer subsequently died of her injuries and the man, said by police to be a street cleaner, was seriously wounded.
The suspect fled the scene in a car that was later found abandoned in the southern suburb of Arcueil, less than three miles from where the attack occurred, according to local media. A 52-year-old man was apprehended by police in the aftermath of the shooting, but was not armed and did not fit the description given by witnesses of the shooting, Cazeneuve said, adding that the suspect is still on the run and is the subject of a major manhunt.
Thursday's attack comes a day after masked gunmen stormed the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, killing 10 journalists and two police officers. Three suspects have been since identified by authorities.
It is unclear whether the two shootings are linked and both the Parisian Police Department and the French Interior Ministry declined to comment on the circumstances surrounding the latest attack when contacted by VICE News.
Today's shooting might be linked to a traffic accident that occurred shortly before. Cazeneuve said a man opened fire when officers stopped to investigate the crash. A damaged grey Renault Clio was visible at the scene surrounded by police tape.
Eloise, 15, who lives nearby, told VICE News that she was woken up by three shots and that a heavy police presence arrived minutes afterwards. "I thought it couldn't be a possible that there was a terror attack today, but then my mother called and told me not to go to school.
Panicked residents sought cover when the shooting began. Hassan, 35, who runs a patisserie on the street where the attack occurred, told VICE News that a mother and child had ran into the shop quickly followed by a man who ordered them to shut and lock the door.
There was a heavy police presence at the scene and officers set up a crisis centre in a storage facility opposite the incident, as well as closing off streets. The specialist BRI police unit were also present, and at the time of writing, officers were reported to be raiding a building near the location of the attack. Uniformed and plain clothed officers, armed with rifles and pistols were posted on a local synagogue.
The city remains on high alert since the Charlie Hebdo attack and 800 troops have been deployed around the city and surrounding regions, including in front of landmarks and tourist spots.
Pierre Longeray also contributed to this report.
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