Protests broke out across France following Emmanuel Macron's re-election. Two people died and one was severely injured as a car racing toward police officers failed to stop at a checkpoint on the oldest bridge in the French capital.
Soon after the result of the 2022 Presidential Election, chaos erupted on the ancient Pont Neuf, in the centre of the city on Sunday night. The opponents of Macron were assumed to be leading the protests expressing their frustration with the results.
"A car came rushing towards police soon after midnight, and refused to stop, one of the police officers opened fire, killing two people and wounding a third," a law enforcement source told the Daily Mail. The source revealed that the one injured was a woman as was later confirmed by the police. Since she had been travelling in the backseat of the car, the bullets hit her in the arm and was then rushed to the PitiÃ©-SaplÃªtriÃ¨re hospital 'for urgent treatment.'
'It seems that they were simply in a car that was being driven erratically,' the source added.
All of the shots are believed to have been fired by a police-issue Heckler & Koch G36 assault rifle. With no retaliation of fire from inside the car it was assumed that the people were not armed.
According to the Mirror, following the firing and the commotion, panicked civilians were seen running across the streets with police officials trying to barricade people from police cordons.
A few clips also showed protesters chanting and climbing up to smear political slogans on the Monument to the Republic statue in Paris. In the meantime, police officials in complete riot gear were spotted in Paris's Place de la RÃ©publique square, withdrawing after charging on the crowds with shields and batons.
Demonstrations were also observed in Toulouse and Lyon, with citizens gathering and protesting against the election result. According to images surfaced on Twitter, the riot Police were attempting to disintegrate a crowd of young protesters gathered in the central neighborhood of Chatelet.
A journalist at the Paris-based daily morning newspaper Le Figaro and CNews columnist, Paul Sugy stated on Twitter in French, "gunshots heard at the Pont Neuf, in the square du Vert-Galant."
"According to witnesses on the spot, a man forced a police barrage, which responded by firing automatic weapons. Several victims on the ground are taken care of by the emergency services," he added later.
In a separate tweet, he affirmed: "The police confirm a refusal to comply. Two people died."
There has been no release of any official information regarding the driver of the car such as his identity and the reason why he sped towards the police. An investigation into "attempted voluntary manslaughter on persons in charge of public authority" has been set in motion.
However, it is clear that there was neither an initial tip-off to the police nor any prior indication which linked the incident with the presidential election, or any non-state activity.