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Paris gunman's criminal past in focus as police hunt second suspect

21 Avril 2017

Cheurfi served 10 years in prison after firing on two plainclothes officers in 2001 as they tried to apprehend him in a stolen auto. Reuters cites three police sources who say it may have been an attempted armed robbery. He was convicted in that attack and had a criminal record because of involvement in violent robberies.

"With regard to the security forces, the nation's support is total", Hollande said, adding that the government would organise a tribute to the slain policeman.

The shooting took place when the country's national France-2 TV channel aired a pre-election broadcast featuring all 11 presidential candidates, who will face each other in the first round of presidential elections on Sunday.

He killed one police officer, wounded two more and also hit a passer-by.

Left-wing insurgent Jean-Luc Mélenchon warned against allowing panic to "interrupt democracy".

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

France Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said that "A little after 9 PM a vehicle stopped alongside a police auto which was parked".

The attacker, who was reportedly in a auto, opened fire on a police vehicle at a red light, killing an officer inside. He tried to run away but was killed by return fire.

Clashes outside French far-right leader's rally
She added: "I think that generally speaking if there are people responsible, it's those who were in power at the time. Socialist candidate Benoit Hamon said there was no longer any doubt that Le Pen was from the extreme right.

The attacker was arrested in February on suspicion of plotting to kill officers but was released because of lack of evidence. The shooter got out of his auto and started firing at police, Brandet said on BFMTV. Also wounded was a female tourist.

Authorities in Paris on Friday are investigating a home believed to be linked to the attack on police on the Champs-Elysees that resulted in the death of one officer.

Searches were conducted in at least one suburb east of Paris after Thursday's attack.

The identity of a man responsible for a shooting in central Paris remains unclear and there is no indication he was Belgian, Belgium's federal prosecutors said on Friday.

Speaking in Washington during a news conference with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, US President Donald Trump sent his condolences and said that "it looks like another terrorist attack".

A neighbour said: "I think everyone here is in shock".

In a televised address, outgoing French President Francois Hollande called the shooting the work of terrorists. Parliament voted in December to extend the extraordinary provisions to ensure the protection of upcoming presidential and general elections.

Paris gunman's criminal past in focus as police hunt second suspect