Suspect Arrested After Three Killed, Three Injured in Shooting

Three people were killed and four others injured in a shooting in Paris on Friday, according to a local prosecutor.

A 69-year-old man was arrested after gunfire rang out near a Kurdish cultural center in the French capital’s 10th arrondissement. Laure Beccuau, the Prosecutor for the Republic of Paris, confirmed the death toll at a news conference adding that one person injured was in “absolute emergency.”

Local media reports said the “Caucasian” suspect, whose face was also injured in the incident, was known to authorities and that investigators were looking into a possible racist motive for the attack. The cultural center, called Center Ahmet Kaya, is used by a charity which helps Kurdish people integrate into the Paris community. The gunman also fired on a nearby Kurdish cafe, Reuters reports, and a hair salon.

“We saw an old white man enter, then start shooting in the Kurdish cultural center, then he went to the hairdresser’s next door,” restaurant worker Romain told AFP. A shopkeeper added: “It’s total panic, we’ve locked ourselves in.”

The suspect is said to have been known for previous attempted murders in 2016 and 2021. According to BFM-TV, the alleged attacker was also arrested a year ago for attacking a migrant camp in Paris with a sword. Prosecutor Beccuau said the suspect was “released recently,” though it is not clear why.

Le Parisien cited police sources describing the suspected gunman as a retired Frenchman who previously worked as a driver for France’s national state-owned railway company, SNCF. The outlet added that the suspect was under judicial supervision and had been prohibited from possessing a weapon ahead of the attack.

Authorities have reportedly opened investigations into counts of murder, intentional homicide, and aggravated violence.

“I extend my deepest condolences and solidarity to the relatives of the victims and to the hard-hit Kurdish community,” 10th arrondissement Mayor Alexandra Cordebard tweeted. She also thanked Parisian emergency services for their actions.

French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said he was heading to Paris after the “dramatic shooting,” adding: “All my thoughts go out to the loved ones of the victims.”

The attack on Friday comes almost a decade on from the murder of three Kurdish women activists in the same area of Paris.

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