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Criminal who opened fire near Societe Generale building takes hostage

November 18, 2013, 16:50 UTC+3

The shooter hijacks car and drives off to Champs-Élysées

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PARIS, November 18. /ITAR-TASS/. The criminal, who opened fire near the Societe Generale building, has taken a hostage and hijacked his car, driving off to Champs-Élysées. This information was reported by the released hostage himself.

Earlier on Monday, the gunman have fired several shots near the Societe Generale building located in La Défense, a major business district in Paris. According to preliminary data, no one was shot.

A police helicopter is currently patrolling Champs-Élysées; law enforcements are flocking to downtown Paris.

France’s President François Hollande has demanded that the country’s Interior Minister Manuel Valls does whatever it takes to apprehend the armed man and defuse the situation. Protection of journalists was named as one of the top priorities, the president said.

The police has voiced an opinion that the gunman may be the same person who opened fire in the lobby of the building housing Libération newspaper. This assault resulted in the newspaper’s photographer sustaining severe wounds; he is currently in life-threatening condition. After the Libération shooting the criminal has escaped.

November 15 an unidentified armed man has attempted a shooting at the BFM radio station. However, his firearm jammed and the would-be shooter ran off before the police came to the scene.

Investigators are examining video footage of the crime scene in order to determine whether it was the same person.

Security at the offices of French media outlets is currently heightened. Police helicopters have been dispatched across the city. 

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