Shooting Near Strasbourg Christmas Market Leaves 2 Dead, 12 Injured
A Tuesday shooting in the eastern French city of Strasbourg has left at least 2 people dead and another 12 injured.
At around 20:00 local time (2:00 p.m. EST), a gunman opened fire near Strasbourg’s famed Christmas market, a place that attracts thousands of visitors during the holiday season.
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“There were gunshots and people running everywhere. It lasted about 10 minutes,” said one local shop owner.
Pater Fritz, another eyewitness, told BBC he heard the shots and found an injured man lying on a bridge. Fritz then tried to resuscitate him, but the man unfortunately succumbed to his injuries.
“There are no ambulance services able to enter the area, apparently,” said Fritz. “After 45 minutes we stopped the resuscitation because a doctor told us on the phone that it was senseless.”
Emmanuel Foulon, a press officer for the European Parliament, wrote in a tweet that the center was in a panic, with police running through the streets with their guns in tow.
Des policiers avec des mitraillettes courent dans la rue
— Emmanuel Foulon (@efoulon1) December 11, 2018
Per The Telegraph, the shooter, who has since been identified as Cherif Chekatt, is a 29-year old man previously known to security services. Chekatt is on the terror watch list and is known as a possible terrorist threat.
Earlier Tuesday morning police went to Chekatt’s home to arrest him on suspicion for an unrelated armed robbery. The suspect then fled and while conducting a search of his flat, police found grenades inside. Just hours later the assailant, armed with an automatic pistol and knife, went on a rampage in Strasbourg’s city center.
Chekatt has yet to be apprehended and is currently being hunted by authorities. Residents in the area have been advised to stay indoors.