At least three people have died and several injured after a gunman opened fire in Paris, sparking chaos and panic, as bloodshed returned to the French capital on Friday afternoon. Police and local media said, the gunman has been arrested and is being questioned by the authorities.
According to reports, the shooter, a 69-year-old man old man from France started shooting blindly near the Ahmet-Kaya Kurdish Cultural Centre in a bustling part of the city near the Gare du Nord on Friday afternoon. The motive behind the shooting is still unclear. Emergency services have been scrambled to a community center close to Paris's Gare du Nord station.
Chaos in Paris
The incident took place on the open street after the gunman "shot blindly" at people close to the Eurostar station. A brave officer was able to snatch the killer's gun from him in a hair salon and end the terrible rampage.
The gunman is believed to be a 69-year-old retired train driver from France who attacked a migrant camp a year ago.
A source told local media that the gunman was "very unfavorably known to the police" after the assault on the migrant camp in the 12th arrondissement last year, and had already been the subject of an attempted homicide inquiry.
Although authorities have not officially confirmed the casualties, local news agencies indicate that three individuals have already been pronounced dead and that four others have been injured, including two who are in serious condition.
"The shooter has been arrested with his weapon," a police source said, adding that the threat is over.
Although anti-terrorism prosecutors are looking into the shooting, they have found no evidence of a terrorist motive.
Targeting the Kurds?
A shopkeeper close to the scene of the shooting said she heard seven or eight shots. "It was total panic," she said. "We locked ourselves inside." A source close to the scene said: "A pensioner got into the building and appeared to start shooting at random.
According to Reuters, the gunman had targeted Kurds. "It was Kurds who were targeted," Juan-Golan Eliberg, an artist who works at the Kurdish center told Reuters.
Staff from the Kurdish restaurant reportedly left the premises in tears following the incident, according to Julien Verplancke, who works at another nearby restaurant, Chez Minna.
According to Paris police, the issue on the Rue d'Enghien has been resolved but had requested that people avoid the area as they dealt with it.
French news network BFM TV reported that the alleged shooter was reportedly arrested a year ago on suspicion of using a weapon in racial violence after stabbing two Sudanese men in a migrant camp in the 12th arrondissement of Paris,
The death on Friday comes on the same day that three Kurdish female MPs were killed in Paris ten years ago.
Investigators have started looking into aggravated violence, intentional homicide, and murder. Paris has been the target of a number of violent stabbing and shooting assaults in recent years.
The deadliest single terrorist attack ever in the country came in November 2015 when 130 people were killed at a number of venues.
Suicide bombers pledging allegiance to ISIS targeted the Stade de France, cafes, restaurants and the Bataclan music venue, where 90 died.
Earlier in the year, three people were killed outside and 17 inside the Charlie Hebdo offices after two terrorists with Parisian roots affiliated with Al-Qaeda stormed the building.
In July 2016, 86 people were called and more than 400 were injured after a 19-ton truck was purposely driven into crowds on the coastal promenade at Nice, which is only 20 miles from Cannes. It turns out that the terrorist was a Tunisian immigrant who was killed by police.
The same month, two ISIS terrorists killed an 86-year-old Catholic priest in Normandy during a church ceremony. And in the Notre Dame basilica in Nice, three people were fatally stabbed in October 2020 by a Tunisian immigrant.