The French police is on high alert and a major manhunt is on for a lone shooter who opened fire at the office of the French newspaper “Libération” on Monday. A young assistant photographer was hit and is in critical condition.
The unknown shooter is said to have left the newspaper office on foot. Within a couple of hours, shots were being fired outside the Societe Generale bank building in the business district of Paris, La Defense. No one was injured.
Investigators say the same shooter then took a motorist hostage, told him he was just out of prison and forced to give him a ride to the famous Champs Elysées avenue. The DNA isolated from the car and cartridges from his shotgun, would be that of the shooter, claim the police.
The same man is also suspected of having fired shots three days ago in the building of French news channel, BFM TV, where his video was captured on surveillance cameras.
The Paris prosecutor released photos of the suspect and announced a hotline number, asking people to call if they spot him. Over 400 calls were received but 24 hours after the Monday shooting, the suspect was still at large.
A “European type man” according to the police, the shooter seems to be in his late thirties or early forties. Stills from CCTV footage show him sitting at a tram station and walking inside a metro station. French media have been calling him “the mad shooter” rather than “terrorist”.
There has been speculation about the man acting in fury against banks and the media in the context of the current economic crisis. French President François Hollande who was on a state visit to Israel said, “The shooter can kill. The priority is to stop him”.