Tragedy struck in Paris on Thursday, as a police officer was fatally shot and at least one other was injured in a shooting on the Champs-Elysees. News is still pouring in from the incident, and many details will likely be changing and moving as officials work to sort out the situation, but one question is on many people's minds: Was the Paris shooting terrorism?
President Donald Trump cited the attack as terrorism in a statement shortly after the incident, saying it "looks like another terrorist attack," as he sent his condolences to the people of France in a joint press conference with Italy's prime minister at the White House. It is not known how the president arrived at that conclusion, since police have yet to confirm a motive.
French President Francis Hollande also said that authorities were "convinced" the attack was terror.
CNN has reported that though there has been no confirmation of terrorism as of yet, anti-terror prosecutors have begun an investigation into the attack with the National Intelligence Service, according to the Paris Prosecutor's Office. French officials also said that police were "deliberately targeted" in the attack.
The attacker killed one police officer and wounded another. The French Ministry of Interior spokesman said that the attacker exited a vehicle and "shot at the police vehicle with an automatic weapon," per CNN. Dozens of shots were heard on the Champs-Elysees. The gunman killed an officer, and then fled while continuing to shoot at officers, injuring two, according to the BBC. Security forces fatally shot him.
Paris officials say a police officer was shot and killed and a second seriously injured on the Champs Elysees. An attacker was also killed.— NPR (@NPR) April 20, 2017
The BBC reported that security services had known of the gunman, who had talked about his desire to kill police officers on the Telegram messaging service. However, that information has not been confirmed by French officials and should not be taken as definite.
CNN also reported that the French police are now also looking for potential accomplices.
The New York Times reported that French Interior Ministry spokesperson Henry Brandet told the BFM TV news channel that the exact sequence of events was still unclear, and denied that a second officer had died. He also said that the identity of the gunman was not immediately established.
There are still a lot of details floating around regarding the attack, so it's important to pay attention to official reports. We may have to wait a while for officials to conduct their investigation to determine whether the horrible attack was indeed a terror situation.
The attack comes just days before Sunday's first round of the French election.