A gunman killed four police officers at Paris police headquarters today, sources told EXE News.
Investigators suspect that the attack in France, with the highest number of police casualties in recent years, stemmed from a labor dispute.
The scene was segregated, an ambulance was present and at least one downtown metro station close to the building was closed. The headquarters is located at the Church of Our Lady and other tourist attractions near popular sites.
"People were running everywhere, crying everywhere," said Emery Siamandi, who was at police headquarters at the time of the attack. "I heard the gunfire, I realized it was coming from inside the building," he told EXE News.
"A moment later, I saw the police crying. They were in panic" he added.
According to French media, he was a 45-year-old man who had worked in an administrative capacity for the Paris police force for 20 years.
Prime Minister Christophe Castaner was scheduled to travel to Turkey this afternoon, but delayed his visit to visit the attack site.
Only yesterday, several police rallies took place across France, complaining about the increase in violence against policemen and the rise in police suicide.
France's former interior minister shares his condolences in emotional tweet
France's former interior minister Gerard Collomb has expressed his condolences to the victims of the Paris attack in an emotional tweet.
“I’ve learned with emotion the tragedy that occurred at the beginning of the afternoon at the police headquarters of Paris. All my thoughts are of course with the families of the victims,” Collomb, who is now mayor of Lyon, said.
“I also want to express my support to all the staff, whose emotions I can’t even imagine at this moment," he added.
J’apprends avec émotion le drame qui s’est produit en début d’après-midi à la préfecture de police de Paris.
Toutes mes pensées vont bien sûr aux familles des victimes. Et je veux aussi faire part de mon soutien à l’ensemble des personnels, dont j’imagine l’émotion à cet instant.
— Gérard Collomb - Maire de Lyon (@gerardcollomb)