French policemen cordon off in front of Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral. Credit: Getty Images French policemen cordon off Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral.
Credit: Getty Images

One of Paris’ most visited sites was evacuated Tuesday.

Approximately 1,500 people were evacuated from the Notre Dame after a man committed suicide in the 850-year-old cathedral, according to the Associated Press.

 

A police official announced the cathedral, located on Paris’ Ile de la Cite, was closed to the public after the incident Tuesday afternoon. The police official wouldn’t confirm to French media outlets that the man had shot himself.

According to reports, the man put a letter on the altar, then pulled out a gun and shot himself in the head.

Monsignor Patrick Jacquin, the cathedral’s rector, told the Associated Press that this is the first suicide in decades at the site.

“It’s unfortunate, it’s dramatic, it’s shocking,’ he said.

An evacuation is very uncommon at the cathedral, which is visited by approximately 13 million people from around the world every year.

The cathedral will open again for an evening service that church officials said will include a prayer for the man who committed suicide.

Follow Mary Ann Georgantopoulos on Twitter @marygeorgant

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