The gunshots caused the nearby crowds to panic, according to multiple reports.
“Reports suggest a man attacked a police officer with a hammer and was later shot,” the BBC reported. Sky News said the police officer was injured in the incident.
Contacted by FranceInfo, journalist David Rahul Métreau who was at the scene said he heard two detonations which lead to a panicked response in the crowd near the cathedral. The police officer who was attacked responded by firing on the man, who is lying on the ground injured, but reportedly still alive.
The police officer is believed to be also injured, but alive.
The attacker yelled “This is for Syria!” before he was taken down by police, according to French officials.
French interior minister Gerard Collomb says the Notre Dame attacker shouted “this is for Syria”
— Sky News Newsdesk (@SkyNewsBreak) June 6, 2017
Tourists were told to stay away from the area. The cathedral is in the centre of Paris and is one of France’s busiest and most revered tourist attractions.
Tourists were locked inside the cathedral as the police turned the area into a frozen zone:
Someone on a mobile phone inside the cathedral told Sky “a couple of thousand” people were trapped inside.
We’re trapped in Notre-Dame de Paris, something is happening outside. Police sirens can be heard. They are not letting anyone in or out
— Matthew CurrieHolmes (@mch2k) June 6, 2017
Everyone inside is fine, he says:
Paris is on edge as the entire country has been in a months-long state of emergency after a string of terror attacks by Islamist extremists. Paris police tweeted an alert about the incident at 4.31 p.m. local time:
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