Law Enforcement identified Chérif Chekatt as the suspect in a shooting at a Christmas market in Strasbourg France
Chekatt entered the area of the Christmas market and opened fire just before 8:00 pm
It was reported three people were killed and 13 were injured eight of which were seriously injured
At the time of this article Chekatt remained at large
Police went to Chekatt’s residence on Tuesday morning to arrest him for a burglary
Chekatt was not at the residence but police found grenade
Chérif Chekatt has been identified as the suspect responsible for killing three and injuring 13 others — eight of which were reported to be seriously injured — in a shooting at the Christmas market in central Strasbourg, France on Tuesday evening.
According to a statement from law enforcement in the area, 29-year-old Chekatt entered the Christmas market at around 8:00 pm and opened fire. In total, Chekatt left 16 dead or injured. Only five were said to have sustained minor injuries.
Around 8 pm on Tuesday, December 11, an armed individual entered the perimeter of the Christmas market by the bridge of Corbeau heading towards the rue des Orfèvres. The individual used weapons, affecting several people.
The provisional balance sheet now includes 16 victims, including 3 dead, 8 seriously injured and 5 minor injuries.
Residents in Neudorf — the neighborhood where Chekatt is believed to live — reported hearing bursts of gunfire just before 8:00 pm. The anti-terrorists section of the Paris prosecutor’s office has declared the shooting an act of terrorism, stating “murder and attempted murder in relation to a criminal enterprise.”
Police say they know Chekatt and he was on the country’s “Fiche S” list as a potential security threat. Reports claim law enforcement had gone to Chekatt’s residence in Neudorf to arrest him for burglary. Chekatt was not at the residence, but officials say they found grenades.
The European Parliament is currently sitting in Strasbourg and was placed on lockdown by authorities. Those dining in the city centre were advised to stay inside and the European Parliament building was temporarily placed on lockdown. The transnational tramway between France and Germany was also shut down.
[A] decision has been taken, as a precautionary measure, to close the European Parliament building in Strasbourg. We ask you to stay calm and safe within [European parliament] premises.
At the time of this article, Chekatt was still at large. Overnight, 350 officers have been dispersed as the manhunt continued. Chekatt had a lengthy criminal record and was known as a “suspected extremist.” A motive behind the shooting has not been established. France has increased the security alert system Vigipirate to its highest level. Interior Minister Christophe Castaner stated border security has been increased.
The attack comes after four weeks of protests from the Yellow Vests. At times the protests have become incredibly destructive and violent. On Saturday 20-year-old Fiorina Jacob Lignier lost vision in her left eye after being shot in the face with a projectile by law enforcement. Another man had his hand blown off after allegedly picking up a flash grenade fired by police.
The protests initially began after President Emmanuel Macron attempted to introduce a fuel tax. However, over the last few weeks the protests have evolved into the working class standing against a government that puts banking and corporate interests over the people. Protesters are now demanding Macron’s resignation.