Sunday 20 October 2019

Fifth victim of Strasbourg market attack dies

Suspected gunman Cherif Chekatt was shot dead on Thursday during a police operation in the Neudorf neighbourhood.

Police on the streets in Strasbourg (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Police on the streets in Strasbourg (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

Matthias Blamont

The Paris prosecutor's office said on Sunday that a fifth person had died from their wounds following Tuesday's Strasbourg Christmas market shooting.

An official with the prosecutor's office said the victim was a Polish national and gave no other details.

The gunman, Cherif Chekatt, was killed on Thursday night after firing on police, ending a two-day manhunt that involved more than 700 members of the security forces.

Investigators found a gun, a knife and ammunition on Chekatt’s body.

Paris prosecutor Remy Heitz (Jean Francois Badias/AP)
Paris prosecutor Remy Heitz (Jean Francois Badias/AP)

The immediate aftermath of the shootout was caught on camera from across the street, with video footage showing armed officers at the scene and a body slumped in a doorway.

More officers arrive at the scene soon after, followed by crime scene investigators.

 

The Paris prosecutor’s office formally identified the man as Chekatt, a Strasbourg-born man with a history of convictions for various crimes, including robberies. He had been on a watch list of potential extremists.

Witnesses said the gunman shouted “God is great!” in Arabic and sprayed gunfire from a security zone near the Christmas market on Tuesday. Security forces wounded the man but he escaped in a taxi which dropped him off in Neudorf.

More than 700 officers searched for Chekatt, government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux told CNews television.

Chekatt was known to police, but as a common criminal, not a terrorist. He had his first conviction at 13, and had 26 more by the time he died at 29. He served jail time in France, Germany and Switzerland.

Meanwhile, the Christmas market in Strasbourg reopened amid tight security after being closed during the manhunt for Chekatt.

Reuters

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