Three killed in Strasbourg shooting
The assailant has reportedly been identified as 29-year-old Cherif ChekattEuropost
Three killed and 11 injured, 5 of which very seriously, were reported after shooting in Strasbourg on Tuesday around 8 pm near the Christmas market in the area of the Corbeau bridge and the Orfevres street. Shortly after the attack the gunman, who fled the scene and is still on the loose, has reportedly been identified as 29-year-old Cherif Chekatt, born in Strasbourg. Later on, in the southern district of Neudorf, the assailant allegedly opened fire on a patrol of soldiers from the Sentinel force, and was wounded. A soldier was also injured during this skirmish.
The authorities took immediate measures to guarantee the security of the people who were out in the downtown at that time. Many of them remained for few hours locked at restaurants, sport halls and other places. The citizens who were already at home were advised not go out.
On the ground were mobilised 350 police officers and gendarmes, supported by air forces and by the teams of RAID, BRI and the Sentinel.
According to several sources, the gunman was known to the intelligence services for its proximity to the radical movement and is on the terror watch list. He was also known for committing other crimes as theft, violence, and drug trafficking.
Media reports made clear that the French police raided the suspect's home on Tuesday morning in attempt to arrest him as part of a criminal investigation connected to homicide, but he was not there. In his dwelling, the police found grenades.
Following reports of shooting in the centre of Strasbourg, the European Parliament, which plenary session is this week in Strasbourg, has been closed from 8.30 pm and no-one was allowed to leave until further notice. Members of Parliament and staff alike have received information, to remain indoors. Parliament’s work continues as normal, the EP Press Office said. The people in the building were allowed to go out after several hours.
Expressing his deep condolences to the families of the victims, EP President Antonio Tajani tweeted: “We will not back down! We will defeat terrorism and those who want to attack our way of life. The European Parliament continues to work.”
The Prefecture of the Grand-Est and Bas-Rhin region issued in the small hours of Wednesday a decree, saying that “given the serious events that occurred in Strasbourg on 11 December, any gathering and demonstrations are prohibited until further notice throughout the territory of the commune of Strasbourg.”