A policeman was shot dead while two other officers were seriously injured by a Kalashnikov-wielding gunman on the Champs Elysees in central Paris just three days before the French presidential election.
The alleged ISIS gunman identified as 39-year-old father Karim Cheurfi who was jailed for 20 years for trying to kill officers in 2001 parked his Audi and opened fire after police stopped at a red light on the world famous avenue.
French police said the attack last night was probably a ‘terrorist act’ and dramatic video footage captured the moment police shot at the assailant, who later died.
A ‘foreign female tourist’ was also wounded in the incident. Police have now launched a desperate manhunt for a second suspect after heavily armed officers flooded the area in the heart of the French capital.
Officers have been searching the home of the alleged shooter – who was known to security services and had been flagged as an ‘extremist’ in east Paris and he had previously said that he ‘wanted to kill police’.
Karim Cheurfi used the alias ‘Abu Yousuf the Belgian’, and reportedly made threats to kill police using the social media app Telegram, an instant messaging service.
Karim was born in France and lived in Chelles, a commuter town close to Paris and was jailed for 20 years for shooting at police in 2001, after being caught in a stolen car. But it is believed that he was released early in 2016.
The gunman has been identified by police but they will not officially reveal his name until investigators determine whether he had accomplices, according to the Paris prosecutor.