Paris’ Champs Elysees Closed After Shooting of Police

Photo by AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu via Newscred

Paris’ Champs Elysees has been sealed off after a gunman opened fire on a police van, the BBC reports. The gunman opened fire with an automatic weapon, killing a French police officer and injuring two others. The gunman was then shot dead by security forces while attempting to flee.

The Washington Post reports that a second police officer later died of his wounds. While there was not an immediate indication of a potential motive for the attack, French police have said that they have opened a terrorism investigation into the case.

According to CNN, at least three Paris Metro stations, the Champs-Elysees-Clemenceau, George V and F. Roosevelt, were closed.

The attack comes just three days before the country holds the first round of its presidential election, the Post reports. Over the past two years, terrorist attacks have killed at least 230 people in France and injured hundreds more. The shooting occurred during a televised campaign event that allowed each of the 11 current presidential candidates to spend 15 minutes pitching their respective platforms to French voters.

The attacks of the past few years have been impacting the travel sector as well. According to a study released late last year by Allianz Global Assistance, travel to the city had fallen by 12.8 percent year over year during the 2016 winter holidays in the wake of that attack. In total, the city fell from 80,214 travelers in the 2015 winter holiday season to 69,975 in 2016.

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