PARIS (AP) — A shooting targeting a Kurdish cultural center in Paris on Friday left two people dead and four others wounded, authorities said. A 69-year-old suspect was wounded and arrested.
The reason for the shooting wasn’t immediately clear. The Paris prosecutor’s office opened a murder investigation and was working to confirm the identity of the suspect.
Police cordoned off the area in the 10th arrondissement of the French capital, on a busy street with shops and restaurants near the Gare de l’Est train station. The shooting came at a time when Paris is bustling with activity before the Christmas weekend.
The Paris police department warned people to stay away from the area while emergency workers were at the scene.
The shooting occurred in a Kurdish cultural center and a restaurant and hairdresser nearby, according to the mayor for the 10th arrondissement, Alexandra Cordebard. Speaking to reporters at the scene, she said the “real motivation” for the shooting remains unclear.
As she spoke, a crowd nearby chanted, “Erdogan, terrorist” — referring to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan — and “Turkish state, assassin.”
The attacker was also wounded and is hospitalized, Cordebard said.
Two of the four people who were wounded are in critical condition, the prosecutor’s office said.
Anti-terrorism prosecutors are in contact with investigators but haven’t indicated any sign of a terrorist motive at this stage. France was hit by a string of deadly attacks by Islamic extremists in 2015-2016 and remains on alert for terrorism-related violence.
Nicolas Vaux-Montagny contributed to this report from Lyon.