PARIS, April 20. /TASS/. At least two people were killed and two injured during a shootout on the world-famous Champs Elysees boulevard in Paris, the BFMTV channel reported late Thursday.
The shootout took place on Thursday evening, near the the Marks & Spencer store on the Champs Elys·es, at the corner of Rue de Berri. According to initial reports, one officer was killed while sitting in a patrol car. The other succumbed to his injuries later. A police officer and a civilian were injured.
"The attacker, who driving a car, approached a patrol vehicle, left the car and opened fire at police officers. He abandoned his car and tried to flee, but was killed," French Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said.
Sources familiar with the investigation told BFMTV that the attacker was in the special services’ database, but did not specify for which reasons.
The channel said, citing unnamed police sources, that a terrorist attack is among possible versions of the shootout. "It is too early to make any suggestions. A special operation is under way," Brandet said.
Police are currently working at the scene. The entire Champs Elys·es area has been cordoned off and two subway stations were closed.
A search for the shooter’s possible accomplices is under way. Police snipers were spotted on roofs of houses along the boulevard.
"Apparently, the second gunman who shot at the officers, took refuge at an underground car park on Champs Elysees.
Reuters reported, citing unnamed sources, that another shooting took place in the area shortly after, but there is no official confirmation so far.