Two police officers are dead after a gunman opened fire late Thursday evening at the Champs-Élysées, the iconic street in the heart of Paris, reports Sky News.
Paris Police official Johana Primevert spoke to the Associated Press, saying the attacker intentionally targeted law enforcement who were guarding an area near a well-traveled metro hub. The Franklin Roosevelt subway station is a popular destination for tourists, located in the heart of Paris’s famed shopping district.
Eyewitnesses say the gunman exited an automobile and opened fire using an automatic rifle, likely a Kalashnikov. The officers were sitting in their patrol car when the attack occurred.
The shooting comes days before the French head to the voting booths in a pivotal national election; an election where terrorism and mass immigration have become hot-button issues. The government has deployed over 50,000 officers to protect voters from possible attacks as they head to the polls on Sunday.
French authorities have warned people to avoid the area.