French police have raided a home in a Paris suburb after a gunman opened fire on police on the Champs-Elysees boulevard, killing one officer and wounding three people before being shot dead.
The Islamic State extremist group quickly claimed responsibility for Thursday night’s attack, just three days before a tense presidential election. Security has already has been a dominant theme in the campaign and the violence on the city’s iconic avenue threatened to have a bearing on voters’ decisions.
Candidates cancelled or rescheduled final campaign events ahead of Sunday’s first-round vote. Investigators searched a home early on Friday in an eastern suburb of Paris believed to be linked to the shooting.
A police document obtained by The Associated Press identifies the address searched in the town of Chelles as the family home of 39-year-old Karim Cheurfi, who has a criminal record.
Police tape surrounded the quiet, middle-class area and neighbours expressed surprise at the searches. Archive reports by French newspaper Le Parisien say Cheurfi was convicted of attacking a police officer in 2001.
Authorities are trying to determine whether “one or more people” might have helped the attacker, Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said at the scene of the shooting.
One police officer was killed and two colleagues seriously wounded when the attacker emerged from a car and used an automatic weapon to shoot at officers outside a Marks & Spencer store at the centre of the Champs-Elysees, anti-terrorism prosecutor Francois Molins said.