One police officer killed, another wounded in Paris shooting

Police seal off the Champs Elysees avenue

Police seal off the Champs Elysees avenue

Interior Ministry Spokesman Pierre-Henri Brandit said that a man got out of a vehicle and opened fire on a police van.

An attacker with an automatic weapon opened fire on police on Paris' iconic Champs-Elysees Thursday night, killing one officer and seriously wounding two others before police shot and killed him. Two police officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to publicly discuss the investigation, said the attacker had been flagged as an extremist.

TV footage showed 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 near a Marks and Spencers store.

French conservative politician Francois Fillon, a candidate in the presidential race, said that campaigning should be suspended following the shooting. "It just never ends". "We are on absolute vigilance, above all because of the elections".

Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said on BFM television that a man came out of a auto and opened fire on a police vehicle.

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.

One officer was killed and another was wounded.

He says police are securing the area but there is "no other police operation underway" in the popular area.

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Brandet says it's too early to say whether the attacker might have had an accomplice, and said authorities are studying multiple potential motives.

Speaking in Washington during a news conference with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, U.S. President Donald Trump said the shooting "looks like another terrorist attack" and sent condolences to France.

In February, a man armed with a machete in each hand attacked soldiers on patrol at Paris's Louvre Museum.

A police spokeswoman told Associated Press that the gunman targeted police guarding a metro station.

And in March, a 39-year-old man was killed at Paris's Orly airport after attacking a soldier.

Another witness identified only as Ines told French television station BFM that she heard a shooting, saw a man's body on the ground and the area was quickly evacuated by police. As events were unfolding in the heart of the capital, all 11 presidential candidates were being interviewed on state television.

None of the candidates immediately commented.

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