Police hunt gunman in Paris after newspaper, bank shootings

French police stand in front of the National French Radio building (Maison de la Radio) in Paris, November 18, 2013. Credit: Reuters
French police stand in front of the National French Radio building (Maison de la Radio) in Paris, November 18, 2013. Credit: Reuters

Police were hunting a lone gunman on the loose in Paris on Monday after he opened fire with a shotgun at the offices of a left-wing newspaper and a major bank before hijacking a car to take him to the Champs-Elysees avenue.

The assailant burst into the office of the Liberation daily in central Paris, shooting and seriously wounding a photographer’s assistant before fleeing, police and staff at the newspaper said.

About 90 minutes later, he fired at least three shots into the lobby of the suburban headquarters of Societe Generale in the La Defense business district 10 km (6 miles) west of the center, the prosecutor said. A window was shattered but none of the dozen or so workers standing nearby was hit.

President Francois Hollande, speaking from Jerusalem, said he had asked his interior minister to use all possible means to find the gunman, “who tried to kill and could still do so.”

“Freedom of the press is being targeted,” Hollande told French media from Israel.

A police helicopter hovered over the Champs-Elysees area where the gunman had vanished into the crowd, having hijacked a car and forced the driver to drop him there.

A Paris prosecutor released two photographs said to show the suspect from surveillance footage and urged the public to call in any tips to a hotline.

One man wearing different outfits is suspected to have fired shots at the bank and the newspaper, hijacked a car and threatened people with a gun on Friday at a 24-hour news channel, BFMTV, said Paris prosecutor Francois Molins.

“Given the similarities between these four cases… we are favoring the hypothesis that there is one author,” Molins told journalists. “The suspect is of European type, with salt-and-pepper hair and possibly 2 or 3 days of stubble.”

SHOTGUNS FOUND

The suspect – who was photographed in a baseball cap with a sling bag, green sneakers with white soles, and either a puffy vest or long green coat – had not claimed the shooting or given any indication of his motive.

The victim of the shooting at Liberation, wounded close to the heart, was fighting for his life, Molins said.

Investigators had found two types of 12-gauge shotgun cartridges at the Liberation offices and in BFMTV’s lobby where the gunman had fired shots. They were testing the shells for possible DNA evidence, Molins said.

Liberation managing editor Fabrice Rousselot said witnesses had described the assailant as a short-haired man in his 40s. Police said he was “of European type.”

“He walked in, fired twice and left,” Rousselot told reporters.

Deputy editor-in-chief Fabrice Tassel said in a tweet that the young male victim was fighting for his life in hospital.

Police deployed outside the offices of other media outlets in the French capital.

The mid-morning incidents came days after an armed intruder entered the offices of the BFM TV channel, threatening journalists before disappearing. Police said video surveillance footage showed it was the same man.

Liberation’s offices near the Place de la Republique in east-central Paris were cordoned off as forensics experts investigated.

 


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Memorial held for Sean Collier, MIT police officer…

More than 1,600 people gathered at MIT on Friday for a memorial service for Sean Collier, the police officer shot to death a year ago in the aftermath of the…

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NHL

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump…

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump Bruins in Game 1

MLB

MLB video highlights: Orioles top Red Sox, 8-4…

John Lackey roughed up for second straight outing

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon preview: Elite American, International runners…

2014 Boston Marathon: Elite American, International runners to watch

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.