DEVELOPING: Two police officers were killed and another was wounded when a gunman opened fire late Thursday on the famed Champs-Elysees shopping district in Paris, officials said.
Paris police spokeswoman Johanna Primevert told The Associated Press that the attacker targeted police guarding the area near the Franklin Roosevelt subway station at the center of the avenue popular with tourists, Fox News reports.
Authorities warned people in the heart of the French capital to avoid the area after the shooting, France 24 reported, Express UK reported.
UPDATE: Second policeman dies of wounds from Paris shooting – police source. Live video: https://t.co/WcNpRQiZsx pic.twitter.com/2NKk4qD0Ux
— Reuters (@Reuters) April 20, 2017
Many police vehicles can be seen on the avenue that passes many of the city’s most iconic landmarks.
A 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.
France has been in a state of emergency following a series of terrorist attacks, including the the November 2015 attacks, which targeted the Bataclan concert hall and Stade de France sports arena in Paris and the deadly truck attack in Nice.
Déploiement de police avec boucliers pare-balles rue de Miromesnil #Paris rumeurs d'un coup de feu sur les Champs-Élysées pic.twitter.com/41UIaHWUXu
— Alexis Kraland (@akraland) April 20, 2017
One eyewitness said a man got out of a car and began shooting “with a Kalashnikov”, hitting a policeman.
Police are warning people to avoid the area with residents evacuated from nearby buildings.
The state of emergency has been extended by several parliamentary votes and remains in effect.