Update: ISIS has claimed responsibility after two police officer was shot dead.
Paris: There are reports the second gunman who remains at large has fired shots in a shopping mall. Two police officers were shot dead by a pair of Kalashnikov-wielding gunmen on the Champs Elysees in central Paris on Thursday night.
French police said that the incident was probably a ‘terrorist act’ and the world famous avenue was on lockdown by 9pm.
Heavily armed officers had flooded the area and a third individual – believed to be the killer – was shot dead, according to police sources.
Police are searching the home of the shooter in east Paris and the attacker had previously mentioned on social media that he ‘wanted to kill police’, according to BFM TV.
Reports suggest ‘at least’ two people were involved in the attack which took place as presidential candidates debated on a TV show nearby before Sunday’s election.
The Interior Ministry spokesman said on BFM the officers were deliberately targeted and the police union added that one of them was shot dead while sat in a car at a red light.
Paris police spokeswoman Johanna Primevert told The Associated Press that the attacker targeted police guarding the area near the Franklin Roosevelt subway station Thursday night at the center of the avenue popular with tourists.
Police warned that the world-famous boulevard in Paris had been sealed off. France, and Paris especially, has experienced numerous Islamist terrorist attacks in recent years including on the Bataclan concert hall and on the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine.