Two policemen killed in shooting on the Champs Elysees
One officer injured in the attack shortly after 9pm local time
Police say two suspects involved, gunman killed at scene was known to security sources
French interior ministry says police were deliberately targeted
French president Francois Hollande will hold an emergency meeting
The Paris prosecutor’s office says the counter-terrorism office has opened an investigation into the shooting
Two policemen have been killed and one other injured in the shooting.
At least two attackers are involved, with one on the run and the other shot dead at the scene, an interior ministry source confirmed.
The gunman killed at the scene was known to security sources with officers searching his home to the east of Paris, a police source said.
One eyewitness said a man got out of a car and began shooting "with a Kalashnikov", hitting a policeman.
The police union said the officer was killed in car while stopped at a red light with the attacker driving by.
As armed police rushed to the scene, a police source said shots have been fired at a new location near the Champs Elysees Avenue.
A man got out and opened fire with a Kalashnikov on a policeman. The policeman fell down. I heard six shots, I was afraid
Police are warning people to avoid the area with residents evacuated from nearby buildings.
French TV channel BFM broadcast footage of 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.
Witness Chelloug, a kitchen assistant, told Reuters: “I came out of the Sephora shop and I was walking along the pavement where an Audi 80 was parked. A man got out and opened fire with a kalashnikov on a policeman.
“The policeman fell down. I heard six shots, I was afraid. I have a two year-old girl and I thought I was going to die… He shot straight at the police officer.”
Paris shooting- police officers have been injured in a shooting at the Champs Elysees
A police union said the officer was killed in a car stopped at a red light
Police say one suspect has been killed in the Champs Elysees shooting
French Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said police officers were deliberately targeted in the Paris Champs Elysees avenue shooting, but it is too early to say what the motive was.
Police sources had said earlier that the shooting could have been an attempt at an armed robbery.
The Paris prosecutor’s office says the counter-terrorism office has opened an investigation into the shooting.
Local media reported gunfire shortly after 9pm local time in the French capital.
A helicopter has been seen flying low over the city in the wake of the shooting.
The entire area, a haven for tourists, is on lockdown as armed police secure the Champs Elysees.
The UK Foreign Office said: “The British Embassy is in contact with local authorities and urgently seeking further information following reports of a shooting incident on the Champs-Elysees in Paris.
“You should remain vigilant and follow the advice of the local security authorities and/or your tour operator.
“If you're in the area and it is safe to do so, contact your friends and family to tell them you are safe."
Local metro stations have been shut down as police hunt the second attacker.
The shooting comes just a few days before France’s presidential election with the 11 French presidential candidates currently taking part in a TV debate around three miles from the scene.
The attack occurred near 78 Champs Elysee – close to several major chain stores including Nike and Apple, which are popular with tourists.
US president Donald Trump said: “My condolences to the people of France, again, its happening, it seems. I just saw it as I was walking in.
“That's a terrible thing and that's a very, very terrible thing that's going on in the world today.
“It looks like another terrorist attack. What can you say, it looks like it never ends.
Emergency vehicles fill Champs-Elysées after shooting in Paris
Crowds flee from Champs-Elysées after shooting in Paris
Police tape off Champs-Elysées after shooting killing police officer
“You have to be strong and you have to be vigilant and it's been happening for a long time.”
Socialist candidate for the French election, Benoit Hamon tweeted: “My thoughts are with the police, complete support with the police against terrorism.”
The metro station Franklin Roosevelt, close to l’Arc-de-Triomphe has been closed.
The Front National politician Florian Philippot tweeted: “Thoughts are with the police officer who was killed tonight in Champs Elysee and thoughts for his injured colleague. Horror yet again.”
France remains on high alert following the 2015 Paris attacks.
Armed police have surrounded the scene
The Champs Elysees is on lockdown
Paris shooting – Police authorities called on the public to avoid the area
The shooting comes just two hours after a police lockdown on Rue de Rivoli – a nearby street in the heart of the city.
The Paris Metro was suspended at the station on the street as officers sealed off the road.
It is not yet known whether the street closure and the shooting are linked.
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.
Earlier this week, two men were arrested in Marseille whom police said had been planning an attack ahead of the election.
A machine gun, two hand guns and three kilos of TATP explosive were among the weapons found at a flat in the southern city along with jihadist propaganda materials according to the Paris prosecutor.
More to follow…