PARIS: Three people are dead after shots were fired in central Paris, prosecutors said on Friday.
The man arrested after the fatal shooting in Paris was known to authorities, according to media reports. France Info radio, citing police sources, reported on Friday that the 69-year-old suspect was known for two prior attempted killings.
Le Parisien newspaper wrote that the Frenchman attacked a migrant camp with a sabre last year, injuring several people. The man had only come out of prison in mid-December and was under judicial supervision.
The man allegedly fired shots in the city's 10th district on Friday.Three people died in the attack and others were injured.
According to the district mayor, Alexandra Cordebard, the man fired at a Kurdish community centre as well as a restaurant and a hair salon across the street.
The prosecutor's office has launched an investigation into intentional homicide. There was initially no information on the shooter's motive.
French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin is travelling to the scene of the shooting, he tweeted, adding that all his thoughts are with the relatives of the victims.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo also paid tribute to the victims and their families and said that a psychological support service would be setup in the 10th district's town hall.
Meanwhile, a 69-year-old gunman who opened fire at a Kurdish cultural centre and a hairdressing salon in central Paris on Friday had previously been charged with racist violence, a prosecutor said.
He was suspected of attacking at least two migrants with a knife in a Paris camp on December 8, 2021, Paris prosecutor Laure Beccuau told reporters.
In that attack the Frenchman, a retired train driver, was also believed to have damaged several tents in the migrant camp located at the Bercy park in eastern Paris, she said.
He was subsequently charged with premeditated armed violence with a racist motive, and placed in detention, the prosecutor said, adding that the man had been released only recently.
She said the question of whether Friday's attack was motivated by racism "will obviously form part of our investigations which are starting now with the deployment of large numbers of people," she said. - Reuters/dpa