Saturday 23 September 2017

Paris on high alert as gunman still at large

Images taken from surveillance footage showing a suspect gunman who fired shots at the office of 'Liberation' newspaper, seriously injuring a photographer's assistant before fleeing. Reuters
Images taken from surveillance footage showing a suspect gunman who fired shots at the office of 'Liberation' newspaper, seriously injuring a photographer's assistant before fleeing. Reuters

Henry Samuel

Police have said they are hunting for a "lone gunman" they believe was behind a car jacking and two gun attacks in the heart of Paris yesterday – one in the offices of 'Liberation' newspaper that left a young photographer on his first day of work fighting for his life.

With the gunman still at large, François Hollande, the French president said everything was being done to stop an individual who "tried to kill and could still kill tomorrow or at any time".

Bright green trainers were the tell-tale evidence suggesting a "European man aged 35-40", who stormed into 'Liberation', the left-leaning daily, yesterday morning was the same gunman who shot at the headquarters of Societe Generale bank in Paris' business district of La Defense, and then forced a motorist to drive him to the Champs-Elysees.

After his gun apparently jammed, he shouted: "Next time, I will not miss you."

MANHUNT

The attacks on Monday sparked a major manhunt, which led to all of the French capital's main news outlets being under police guard and heavy police patrols along the Champs-Elysees, with helicopter backup, in search of the elusive suspect.

Police officers patrol near the entrance of the Societe General Bank headquarters in La Defense business district, west of Paris
Police officers patrol near the entrance of the Societe General Bank headquarters in La Defense business district, west of Paris
The Societe Generale headquarters stands in the La Defense business district
A sign hangs outside he Societe Generale headquarters in the La Defense business district on November 18, 2013 in Paris, France. Paris police are hunting for a gunman following attacks at the offices of the left-wing newspaper Liberation, which left a staff member seriously injured, and outside at the headquarters of French bank Societe Generale. (Photo by Antoine Antoniol/Getty Images)
The Societe Generale headquarters stands in the La Defense business district on November 18, 2013 in Paris, France. Paris police are hunting for a gunman following attacks at the offices of the left-wing newspaper Liberation, which left a staff member seriously injured, and outside at the headquarters of French bank Societe Generale. (Photo by Antoine Antoniol/Getty Images)
An impact mark, allegedly from a gun shot, is seen in a window on the Societe Generale headquarters at La Defense business district on November 18, 2013 in Paris, France. Paris police are hunting for a gunman following attacks at the offices of the left-wing newspaper Liberation, which left a staff member seriously injured, and outside at the headquarters of French bank Societe Generale. (Photo by Antoine Antoniol/Getty Images)
French police officers stand outside the Societe Generale headquarters in the La Defense business district after a shooting on November 18, 2013 in Paris, France. Paris police are hunting for a gunman following attacks at the offices of the left-wing newspaper Liberation, which left a staff member seriously injured, and outside at the headquarters of French bank Societe Generale. (Photo by Antoine Antoniol/Getty Images)
French police officers investigate in the Societe Generale headquarters at the La Defense business district after a shooting on November 18, 2013 in Paris, France. Paris police are hunting for a gunman following attacks at the offices of the left-wing newspaper Liberation, which left a staff member seriously injured, and outside at the headquarters of French bank Societe Generale. (Photo by Antoine Antoniol/Getty Images)
French police officers investigate at the Societe Generale headquarters in the La Defense business district after a shooting on November 18, 2013 in Paris, France. Paris police are hunting for a gunman following attacks at the offices of the left-wing newspaper Liberation, which left a staff member seriously injured, and outside at the headquarters of French bank Societe Generale. (Photo by Antoine Antoniol/Getty Images)
A sign hangs outside he Societe Generale headquarters in the La Defense business district on November 18, 2013 in Paris, France. Paris police are hunting for a gunman following attacks at the offices of the left-wing newspaper Liberation, which left a staff member seriously injured, and outside at the headquarters of French bank Societe Generale. (Photo by Antoine Antoniol/Getty Images)

Calling for witnesses to come forward after showing a CCTV image of the suspect, François Molins, the Paris prosecutor, said that police were working on the theory that one man was behind all the attacks.

"Given the similarities between the four affairs in the modus operandi, the warnings and the clothing of the (gunman), in the type of munitions found as well, we are working on the theory of a lone perpetrator," he said. The gunman used a 12-gauge shotgun – the most common hunting arm in France – with Brenneke cartridges, used to kill wild boar, and lead shot.

BFMTV last night released video footage of the man, who can be seen determinedly entering the television channel's lobby and apparently seeking to shoot at an editor at the welcome desk.

Outside security cameras then show him sprinting off into the night.

Mr Molins described the suspect as a European, between 35 and 40 years old, around 1.7m to 1.8m tall, with close-cropped greying hair covered by a cap and a two to three-day beard.

He said he could be wearing a "three-quarter length khaki jacket", a green jumper or a sleeveless bomber jacket.

In all sightings, he was wearing the same green trainers with white soles.

He said police had failed to identify the individual and had no clear idea of what drove him to commit such attacks.

The climate of fear has remained in Paris, after the initial attack.

A 33-year-old man was left in a critical condition when the lone intruder shot him in the chest and stomach with a pump-action shotgun at 10.15am local time yesterday morning in the lobby of 'Liberation's offices, in the 3rd arrondissement.

The newspaper said it was the injured man's first day at work as a freelancer for 'Next', a supplement of the newspaper.

The gunman fled the scene.

Less than two hours later, a man also opened fire outside the towers of Societe Generale bank at Paris' business district of La Defense. There were no injuries reported. (©Daily Telegraph, London)

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