At least one police officer has been killed and two injured Thursday evening following an incident near Paris’ Champs-Élysées, according to the Interior Ministry.
Reuters reported that one assailant was killed following the altercation, which police said was likely “a terrorist act,” adding that the officers were deliberately targeted. The attack comes just days before the French presidential election.
Paris police posted a message to Twitter, encouraging people to avoid the area, which has now been closed. At the moment, not much is known about the incident.
Nous vous conseillons d'éviter le secteur des Champs Élysées
— Préfecture de police (@prefpolice) April 20, 2017
— Melissa Bell (@MelissaBellCNN) April 20, 2017
As far as the motivation behind the incident, Yvan Assioma, a spokesperson for the French police union said, “Nothing is being ruled out.”
“The exact circumstances are still unclear but I can confirm the tragic death of one of our colleagues. Our thoughts are very much with the family,” Assioma said, according to The Telegraph. “One or several attackers have been shot dead by the police. Some officers were hit but the bullets were stopped by their bulletproof vests, but two were hit.”
The Champs-Élysées is one of the most famous streets in the world, connecting the Place de la Concorde and the Place Charles de Gaulle, where the Arc de Triomphe is located. It features numerous theaters, shops, and restaurants, and is the final stretch of the Tour de France. It is one of the most frequently visited tourist attractions in the world.
The U.S. State Department warned Americans traveling abroad to avoid the tourist attraction “after a shooting” in the area.
— Travel – State Dept (@TravelGov) April 20, 2017
President Donald Trump commented on the attack during a press conference with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni.
“Our condolences from our country to the people of France,” he told reporters Thursday. “That’s a terrible thing. … It looks like another terrorist attack. What can you say? We have to be strong and we have to be vigilant.”
— Tré Goins-Phillips (@tregp) April 20, 2017
This is a developing story.