Paris shooting: Fresh shots heard after policeman and gunman killed

Karim Cheurfi shot dead a French policeman last night on the Champs Elysees

"The investigation has been entrusted to the Anti-Terrorist Section (SAT) of the Criminal Brigade and the Directorate General of Internal Security (DGSI)", Paris chief prosecutor's office said in a statement. Islamic State claimed responsibility.

The gunman, named as Yousef al-Belgiki by Amaq, was also killed in the attack while the officers are thought to be from the Public Order and Traffic Department responsible for supervising demonstrations and regulating traffic. French police believe the shooting was very likely "a terrorist attack", reports Reuters.

In addition to the assault rifle used in the attack, he had a pump action shotgun and knives in his vehicle, the sources said.

"It's too early to say how or whether he was connected to what happened on the Champs Elysees", ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said.

Police have detained three of his family members for questioning, as investigators seek to determine whether he was acting alone and where he got his weapons. Authorities said a man jumped out of auto and shot at a traffic police vehicle.

Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said on BFM television that a man came out of a auto and opened fire on a police vehicle. He said officers were "deliberately" targeted. "We don't know yet what his motivations were". There were conflicting reports about whether another person was in the gunman's vehicle.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, speaking Friday in Jakarta, said the attack in Paris was the latest reminder that terrorism can strike anywhere and at any time.

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Conservative presidential contender Francois Fillon said he was cancelling his planned campaign stops on Friday and far-right candidate Marine Le Pen took to Twitter to offer her sympathy for law enforcement officers "once again targeted".

"I came out of the Sephora shop and I was walking along the pavement where an Audi 80 was parked". And what can you say? He called the attack "a awful thing", and said it was another example of the sort of violence that "never ends".

"We shall be of the utmost vigilance, especially in relation to the election", said President Hollande, who is not himself running for re-election. The man "then ran away, managing to shoot and wound two other policemen". "One or more perpetrators were taken down by our colleagues, there was a cross fire".

The claim came quickly and the naming of the assailant suggested a degree of direct contact with Islamic State. "This fight for freedom and for the security of the French people must be the priority of the next five-year term". Security is high preceding the vote after police said they arrested two men Tuesday in what they described as a thwarted terror attack. Police discovered an Islamic State flag and 6.6 pounds of explosives in one suspect's home.

France has been under a state of emergency for almost a year and a half, with more than 230 people killed in jihadist attacks since the start of 2015.

The killing of a policeman in Champs Elysees shopping venue in central Paris claimed by ISIS rocked France's presidential race Friday as the authorities said security forces were fully mobilized to thwart any possible attack. In the final days of the campaign, she said she would halt immigration altogether if elected president.

The shooting occurred in the middle of a televised campaign event, when each of the 11 current candidates was given 15 minutes to sell voters on their respective platforms.

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