- A gunman killed at least two people, left one brain-dead, and injured 12 others at a Christmas market in Strasbourg, in northeastern France, on Tuesday night.
- Police are still looking for the suspect more than 17 hours after the attack. Authorities said he might have fled the country.
- They identified the suspect as Chérif Chekatt, a 29-year-old man born in Strasbourg.
- Authorities described the shooting as an act of terrorism and said witnesses heard the attacker shout “Allahu akbar,” meaning “God is great” in Arabic.
- French intelligence previously flagged Chekatt as a security risk. Police said they raided his home on the morning of the attack as part of an investigation into a robbery and found a grenade and a gun.
The suspect in a shooting at a Christmas market in Strasbourg, France, on Tuesday night continues to evade authorities after a 17-hour manhunt.
The attack, which took place around 8 p.m. local time, left at least two people dead, one person brain-dead, and 12 others injured, the Paris prosecutor, Rémy Heitz, said on Wednesday.
The suspect, identified by authorities as Chérif Chekatt, a 29-year-old man born in Strasbourg, may have fled the country, French authorities said.
Heitz, who handles terrorism investigations around the country, described the shooting as an act of terrorism. He added that witnesses heard the gunman shout “Allahu akbar,” meaning “God is great” in Arabic.
When asked whether Chekatt might have escaped the country, Laurent Nuñez, the deputy interior minister, said that it “cannot be ruled out.” Strasbourg is on the border between France and Germany.
France on Wednesday also issued a maximum level of alert, which expands police powers and surveillance. Interior Minister Christophe Castaner added that the country had beefed up border controls and security at Christmas markets around the country,the BBC reported.
French intelligence previously flagged Chekatt as a potential security risk and extremist, The Associated Press reported.
Police had searched his apartment on Tuesday morning as part of an investigation into a robbery and found a grenade and a small-calibre rifle, France’s BFM TV reported, adding that he wasn’t home during the search.
France has been on high alert since early 2015, when men linked to the terrorist group ISIS carried out a series of attacks around the city, killing 130 people with assault rifles and explosives.
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