French police continued the search Wednesday for a gunman who went on a shooting spree on Monday, seriously injuring a photographer at a Paris newspaper office and later opening fire outside a bank headquarters.
A huge manhunt continued in Paris on Wednesday for a lone gunman who went on a city-wide shooting spree on Monday, critically injuring a photographer at the offices of one of the nation’s most-read newspapers, opening fire at a bank headquarters and then high-jacking a car to the Champs-Elysées before disappearing into the metro.
Update on the victim
The victim of Monday’s shooting, aged 23, “woke up” from an artificial coma on Tuesday afternoon, according to Libération.
The young man was shot at close range by the gunman and his injuries, wounds to the abdomen and thorax, remain “very serious,” said Libération executive Nicolas Demorand on France Inter. He remains under close medical surveillance.
The victim was working as a photographer’s assistant at a photo shoot for a supplement for the newspaper. It was only the second time he had been to Libération’s Paris offices.
Officers on foot and in squad cars fanned across the city on Tuesday, taking up positions outside media offices, along Champs-Elysées avenue and at entrances to underground train stations in an effort to find the shooter, who police believe was also behind an incident on Friday in which staff at a Paris television station were threatened by a gun-wielding intruder.
Investigators have so far been unable to identify the gunman, but a source close to the investigation said the police had “received several hundred calls” following an appeal for information from the public.
“We have to obviously verify these, but they allow us to advance,” the source said, adding that they were also studying shots of the man captured on close circuit television and other leads.
Investigators were also working on DNA evidence left by the suspect on shotgun cartridges and in the car he high-jacked, French Interior Minister Manuel Valls said.
"Over the last few hours, a lot of work has been done on the DNA of the individual, in the car he used and on the cartridges," Valls said on Tuesday, while reiterating the police’s “great determination” to find the shooter.
The gunman, wearing a cap and wielding a 12-gauge shotgun, opened fire at the offices of the Libération daily paper in central Paris at about 10:15am (0915 GMT) on Monday, shooting a photographer in the back at close range with a hunting rifle.
He was next seen around an hour later at La Défense financial district, just west of the capital, where he began shooting at the headquarters of Société Générale, one of France’s largest banks, though there were no reported injuries.
The man, described as having European features, aged between 35 and 45 years old, tall and with salt-and-pepper hair, then forced a driver to take him to Paris’s famous Champs-Elysées, where he disappeared into a metro station.
Libération executive Nicolas Demorand said on Tuesday said the photographer injured in the attack, a 23-year-old originally from the southern city of Toulon, was “still critical” although he was “in a slightly better state” after undergoing surgery.
“He was in a hopeless state yesterday when he was hospitalised,” Demorand told France Inter. “He is, however, in a critical state and we remain hopeful.”
Demorand said the shooting in the Libération’s entrance hall left staff traumatised but the paper vowed to carry on its work.
A commentary in Tuesday’s edition of the paper signed by Demorand is headlined simply: “We will continue”.
The daily devoted four pages to the unprecedented attack and an employee described the moment the gunman walked in.
“The guy pulled out a gun from his bag and fired twice at the first person he saw. It lasted no more than 10 seconds, and anyone of us could have been hit. The shooter said nothing and left immediately,” the staff member was quoted as saying.
(FRANCE 24 with AP and AFP)
Date created : 2013-11-19