At least three people were killed and a dozen others injured Tuesday after gunfire erupted near a Christmas market in the center of the French city of Strasbourg, French authorities said.
Strasbourg police said an armed person entered the perimeter of the Christmas market by the Corbeau Bridge around 8 p.m., heading toward the Rue des Orfèvres. The suspect then opened fire, police said. Police said they have identified the shooter, who remains at large.
Here are the latest developments:
- Six people suffered serious injuries and six suffered minor injuries, Strasbourg police said.
- The suspected gunman was injured during an anti-terror operation, CNN affiliate BFM reported. The suspect is a 29-year-old man who was born in Strasbourg, the French network reported.
- The suspected gunman was under what is known as the “Fiche S” surveillance file, Strasbourg police said. The “Fiche S” file is a French terror/radicalization watch list that includes thousands of people, some of whom are under active surveillance, meaning they are on law enforcement’s radar.
- The European Parliament was on lockdown as the search for the gunman continued, British Member of the European Parliament Charles Tannock tweeted from inside.
- European Parliament President Antonio Tajani tweeted that Parliament in Strasbourg will “not be intimidated by terrorist or criminal attacks.” He expressed “sorrow” for the victims, adding that Parliament will “continue to work and react strengthened by freedom and democracy against terrorist violence.”
- The Paris Prosecutor’s Office said its anti-terror section is in charge of the investigation.
- British Prime Minister Theresa May wrote on Twitter that she was “shocked and saddened” by the “terrible” attack in Strasbourg. “My thoughts are with all of those affected and with the French people,” May tweeted.
- The Christmas market will be closed Wednesday and the flags will be at half-staff, Strasbourg Mayor Roland Ries said early Wednesday on his Twitter account. The mayor said he also decided to cancel the shows scheduled to be performed at the city’s cultural institutions and French officials are discussing possibly closing schools on Wednesday.
‘People running, scared, crying kids’
Issam Fares, who sells chestnuts at the Strasbourg Christmas market, told the AFP he heard several shots and thought they were fireworks “or they’re attacking a store.”
“I saw a lot of people running, scared, crying kids and all. Then I said, in my opinion it must be very, very serious, and then … I saw people crying and the crowd leaving,” he told AFP. “They said it was shooting right next door, so I ran away. I went to hide in a restaurant, not far from Gutenberg Street.”
The injured were taken to a Strasbourg hospital.
French President Emmanuel Macron is monitoring the situation and has asked the interior minister to go to the scene, an Elysee Palace spokeswoman said.
The spokeswoman said: “The President of the republic is being informed in real time of the situation in Strasbourg. He decided accordingly to shorten his current meeting and asked the minister of the interior to go there. He continues to be kept informed of developments.”
This story has been updated from its previous version.