Shooting at Paris Christmas Market

francois from Strasbourg, France [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Suspect has escaped and is believed to be injured after exchanging fire with soldiers and police

The French city of Strasbourg near the German border suffered a shooting on December 11 that killed three people and wounded many others. The 29-year-old suspect is a Strasbourg resident who opened fire near a popular Christmas shopping center near Place Kleber, one of the many central squares in the metropolis. The suspect escaped and is believed to injured after exchanging fire with soldiers and police equipped with firearms.

French authorities have already deduced the name of the suspect and his residential address. His home was subsequently raided by the police with regard to a previous investigation. French prosecutors opened a terrorism investigation post shooting. Authorities have yet to announce any motive for the shooting. The European Parliament base in Strasbourg was locked down post-shootout.

There were reports on December 12 that Strasbourg police have begun an operation in the city’s cathedral area. Christophe Castaner, the French Interior Minister, said that suspect carried a long gun and fought twice with the police. The minister confirmed that three people were killed by the gunman and added border controls are now tighter and Christmas markets have now had 350 security agents hunting for the gunman.

Castaner informed the media the attack prompted France to push up the country’s security level to “emergency attack.” Among the injured, six are in serious condition, while another six suffered superficial injuries.

Castaner said the suspect has a criminal record and is known to security services as a probable terrorist threat. As per French media, the man fled his apartment located in Strasbourg’s Neudorf district on the morning of December 11 just before police stormed the flat to investigate a robbery. Grenades were found in the flat. Neudorf residents were urged to stay inside their homes after there were unconfirmed reports of the suspect found by law enforcement in the area.

Roland Ries, the Strasbourg mayor, sent a message via social media of the Christmas market being closed on December 12 after the attack. He said the local Town Hall would fly the flag at half-mast and people could come into the building to express their condolences. The President of France, Emmanuel Macron wrote on Twitter stating the “solidarity of the entire nation” stands with the victims, their families, and the city of Strasbourg.


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