Police seek possible accomplices of Paris gunman

Fri Apr 21, 2017 5:27pm GMT
 

By Emmanuel Jarry and John Irish

PARIS (Reuters) - Investigators are trying to find out whether the man who shot dead a policeman in Paris had accomplices, a prosecutor said, adding that he had shown no previous signs of radicalisation despite a long prison record.

The gunman, identified as Karim Cheurfi, opened fire on a police vehicle parked on the Champs Elysees in Paris late on Thursday, killing one officer and injuring two others before being shot dead.

The attack, which was claimed by Islamic State, overshadowed the last day of campaigning for Sunday's presidential election first round.

Cheurfi, 39, a French national who lived with his mother in the eastern Paris suburb of Chelles, had spent some 14 years in prison from 2001 for crimes including gun attacks on law enforcement officers.

"The investigations will now focus on determining ... the potential help that he may have benefited from," Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins told a news conference on Friday.

"He was not on the security watch list and had shown no signs of radicalisation despite his many years in prison."

But Molins confirmed police had found a note with handwritten messages defending Islamic State near his body, addresses of police establishments in his car and a Koran.

Police believe he had "opened fire on the officers in the knowledge he would be killed by them", a source close to the investigation said.   Continued...

A woman leaves flowers on the Champs Elysees Avenue the day after a policeman was killed and two others were wounded in a shooting incident in Paris, France, April 21, 2017. REUTERS/Charles Platiau
 
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