PARIS -- Paris police say a gunman has killed a police officer and wounded another before being killed himself in an attack on the Champs-Elysees shopping district.
Paris police spokeswoman Johanna Primevert told the Associated Press that the attacker targeted police guarding the area near the Franklin Roosevelt subway station Thursday night at the center of the avenue popular with tourists.
A Paris resident said scores of tourists fled into the side streets when the shooting occurred.
French President Francois Hollande has scheduled an emergency meeting.
Shortly after the shooting, President Trump said the shooting “looks like another terrorist attack” during a press conference with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni Silveri at the White House.
“First of all our condolences to the people of France,” Mr. Trump said. “What can you say? It just never ends. We have to be strong and we have to be vigilant.”
Reuters reports police said the incident was likely “a terrorist act” and that police are searching the suspect’s home east of Paris.
Authorities say the attacker appeared to be alone.
Emergency vehicles blocked the wide avenue that cuts across central Paris between the Arc de Triomphe and the Tuileries Gardens, normally packed with cars and tourists.
Subway stations in the area were closed off on Thursday night while police secure the scene.
Twitter user Massimo Cavazzini posted this video of police cars rushing to the scene:
Badi Ftaiti, a Tunisian-born mason who has spent three decades in Paris, said the attack that officials say left one police officer dead and another wounded didn’t panic him.
But the 55-year-old says visitors to the French “were running, running ... Some were crying. There were tens, maybe even hundreds of them.”
Asked whether the attack was evidence that “Paris isn’t Paris” anymore, as claimed by Donald Trump, Ftaiti said the U.S. President is “barking up the wrong tree.”
He says: “Paris is Paris. It’s America that’s not America.”
The attack came three days before the first round of balloting in France’s tense presidential election. Security is high preceding the vote after police said they arrested two men Tuesday in what they described as a thwarted terror attack.
A witness identified only as Ines told French television station BFM that she heard a shooting and saw a man’s body on the ground before police quickly evacuated the area where she works in a shop.
The incident recalled two recent attacks on soldiers providing security at prominent locations around Paris, one at the Louvre museum in February and one at Orly airport last month.
A French television station hosting a televised event with the 11 candidates running for president briefly interrupted its broadcast to report the shootings.
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