UPDATED 8 A.M. EDT FRIDAY
WASHINGTON – A gunman wielding a machine gun shot three police officers on the Champs-Élysées in central Paris Thursday night, killing one and critically injuring the others.
The assailant jumped out of an Audi on the famous boulevard and opened fire on a police van stopped at a red light. Witnesses said about a dozen shots were fired.
A passing female tourist was wounded by a ricocheting bullet fired by the attacker.
Heavily armed officers flooded the area and the tourist mecca was on lockdown by 9 p.m. local time.
The attacker was shot dead as he tried to escape. Paris prosecutors identified him as Karim Cheurfi,39, a French national with a long criminal record who was reportedly known to intelligence agencies. Authorities described hm as an extremist. He was reportedly radicalized while serving a 20-year sentence for attempting to kill two officers in 2001.
Police said his car was loaded with weapons, including a shotgun and knives.
The attack took place as presidential candidates participated in a TV debate nearby before Sunday’s election.
French anti-terror prosecutors and the National Intelligence Service are investigating the shootings.
President Donald Trump said of the shootings: “It looks like another terrorist attack. What can you say … it just never ends.”