PARIS, FRANCE (CBSMiami) — French authorities say a man who killed a police officer in Paris’s Champs-Elysees last night had served time for previous armed assaults on law enforcement.
Cell phone video of the shooting was still not officially confirmed but appears to show the suspect’s car next to a police van and two men with weapons drawn.Another video shows the body of the gunman lying in the road.
The gunman has been named by French media as 39-year-old Karim Cheurfi. Authorities haven’t confirmed that yet but police have searched and sealed his family home east of Paris.
As security forces rushed to secure the area and clear shocked bystanders away to safety last night, details of Cheurfi’s criminal record emerged.
Le Parisien newspaper said he had done jail time for, among other things, shooting a police officer.
This attack could not come at a more sensitive time with voting due to start in less than 24 hours, and the country on edge after multiple terrorist attacks since the mass shootings in 2015.
Leading right wing presidential candidate Marine LePen used the shooting to ramp up her already harsh rhetoric, declaring a so-called battle plan to close France’s borders and crack down on what she called lenient sentences for dangerous criminals.
ISIS was quick to claim responsibility for the attack, and French news agencies are saying that investigators found a note near the gunman’s body defending the Islamic State.