One police officer and an attacker have been killed in a shooting in Paris on Thursday, the French Interior Ministry said.
A car stopped at 102 Champs-Elysees, in front of a police van, ministry spokesman Pierre Henry Brandet said. A man emerged from the car and opened fire on the police van with an “automatic weapon,” he said. The police returned fire and killed the attacker.
One policeman was killed and two were injured. It’s not known if the attacker was a man or a woman.
CNN affiliate BFMTV also reported an unidentified man was hit by “cross-fire” in the Champs-Elysees area. BFMTV has not specified if the unidentified man was the attacker or a bystander.
Police Secretary Yvan Assioma told BFM there were “no theories” about whether this was a criminal act or an act of terror.
“We don’t have a precise idea of the origin of the shots fired,” he said. “One or more perpetrators were taken down by our colleagues, there was a cross fire.”
The Champs-Elysees has been closed to vehicle traffic and all businesses in the area have shut down. Authorities are telling people to avoid the area.
Video showed the normally busy avenue, one of the most famous streets in the world, empty of residents and tourists but teeming with security officers at 9:30 p.m.
The CNN Paris bureau is on this street and staffers reported hearing a dozen shots. At least 20 police vehicles were seen on the street.
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SOURCE: CNN, Ralph Ellis and Jim Bitterman