Paris shooting: Suspect had history of attempting to kill police officers

French authorities say the dead suspect of Thursday's Islamic State-claimed shooting has been identified, while the Champs-Élysées remains on lockdown.
French police officers responding after a shooting near the Champs Elysees in Paris, France, on April 20, 2017.
French police officers responding after a shooting near the Champs Elysees in Paris, France, on April 20, 2017.PHOTO: EPA

PARIS (AFP) - The man who shot dead a policeman on Paris's Champs Elysees on Thursday (April 20) was the focus of an anti-terror probe with a history of attempting to kill officers, sources close to the investigation said.

Raids took place at the 39-year-old's Paris suburb home during the night after he killed the policeman and wounded two others in an attack claimed by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

He was shot dead in return fire while trying to escape, police sources told AFP.

The suspect was arrested in February on suspicion of plotting to kill officers but was released because of lack of evidence.

He had been convicted in 2005 of three counts of attempted murder, with two of these against police officers, sources said.

 

The charges dated back to 2001, when he was armed and behind the wheel of a stolen car, which hit another vehicle. He fled on foot before the driver of the other car and the passenger - a trainee police officer - caught up with him. He fired twice, seriously wounding both men in the chest.

He was arrested and placed in custody under a false name.

Two days later, he seriously injured an officer who was taking him out of his cell, seizing his weapon and firing several times.

Officials have refused to name the Champs Elysees shooter and are trying to establish if he had accomplices for the attack, which sent people running for their lives on the world-famous street.