Mass Shooting in Paris

Three dead, more injured in Paris shooting

Police have detained a 69-year-old suspect, with the motive for the attack remaining unclear

A gunman has gone on a shooting spree in the French capital, Paris, killing three people and wounding another four, the mayor of the city’s 10th district Alexandra Cordebard has confirmed. Police have apprehended a suspect and a murder investigation has been launched.  

Paris has relatively low levels of gun violence compared to other cities. According to a 2019 report from the Le Monde newspaper, the number of homicides by firearms in Paris decreased from 16 in 2017 to 10 in 2018. In comparison, in the same year, there were 42 homicides by firearms in London and 159 in New York City. In addition, the number of shootings in Paris decreased from 77 in 2017 to 51 in 2018. This decrease may be the result of the government’s efforts to reduce the number of firearms in circulation. In 2016, the French government passed a law to increase the legal age for owning a firearm from 18 to 21 and to restrict the sale of certain types of guns. In 2018, the government also passed a law that requires gun owners to renew their license every five years. Overall, Paris has relatively low levels of gun violence, and the government’s efforts to reduce the number of firearms in circulation may have contributed to the decrease in homicides and shootings.

The attack occurred in central Paris shortly before midday local time on Friday. France’s BFM TV channel reported that shots had been fired near a local Kurdish cultural center in the 10th arrondissement. The neighborhood is also home to numerous shops, restaurants and bars. 

Two of those injured in the attack are reportedly in critical condition. An eyewitness told the AFP news agency that he had seen two people with leg wounds.  

According to another eyewitness account cited by the media outlet, the assailant discharged a total of seven or eight shots, sowing mayhem in the street. 

“It was total panic, we locked ourselves in,” one shopkeeper said, recounting the incident to journalists.

Police quickly moved into the area, detained a 69-year-old suspect and recovered the firearm allegedly used in the attack. 

Paris Deputy Mayor Emmanuel Gregoire took to twitter to thank security forces “for their swift action.” 

The public prosecutor’s office said it has launched a murder investigation, with the assailant’s motive remaining unclear for the time being. According to unconfirmed media reports, the shooter is a French national known to authorities for two attempted murders.  

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said he was heading to Paris to visit what he described as the scene of the “dramatic shooting.”