Paris media on alert with shooting suspect at large

BY newsdesk  November 18, 2013 at 11:57 AM EDT

As darkness falls on the city of lights, Paris police are searching for a man who fired shots Monday morning at the office of the left-leaning newspaper Libération. About an hour later, shots were fired, possibly by the same suspect, toward the Société Générale building in the La Défense business district along the city’s northwestern limit. A photographer’s assistant was critically wounded in the shooting at Libération’s offices in Paris’ third district around 10:15 Monday morning, but the 27-year-old assistant is the only reported victim of this morning’s violence.

“He walked in, fired twice and left,” Libération’s editorial manager, Fabrice Rousselot, told reporters.

In a 5 p.m. press conference, France’s chief prosecutor updated the nation, releasing a surveillance image of the suspect. Reportedly around 40 years old with close-cropped hair, he is assumed to have fled on foot after departing Libération and headed for the metro.

After shots were fired at La Défense (see image of damage below), a driver reported to the police that an armed man took him hostage in his car and made him drive toward the famed Champs-Élysées boulevard, where the man exited and fled on foot.

Police have been stationed outside other media offices throughout the city and helicopters are on patrol.

According to surveillance footage, the shooter at Libération resembles the armed intruder who entered the offices of the television news station BFM last Friday. Although he didn’t fire at anyone, he threatened journalists there, saying, “Next time, I won’t miss you.” Interior Minister Manuel Valls said that the cartridges found at Liberation were of the same kind discovered at BFM.

The assailant’s motive is unknown, as is the connection between the incidents.
French President Francois Hollande, who is on a visit to Israel and Palestine, assured the French people in a release that all methods would be used to apprehend the person(s) responsible.

H/T Simone Pathe