Clashes have broken out on the streets of Paris after three people died in a shooting at a Kurdish cultural center, which authorities believe to have been racially motivated.
A 69-year-old man opened fire on a group of individuals at the Ahmet-Kaya center, according to media reports. hair salon and a restaurant on the street were also scenes of further catna. Three people were injured, one of them critically.
Minutes after the incident, police caught the alleged shooter, who had prior convictions for assault and unlawful weapon possession, and seized a firearm, according to prosecutors. He was transported to the hospital for treatment, having received injuries to his face.
Paris prosecutor Laure Beccuau said in a statement that a woman and two men were killed, and a further three men were injured. “At this time, there is no evidence linking [the suspect] to any extremist ideological movement,” the official said.
French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted that “the Kurds of France” were “the target of a vile attack in the heart of Paris.” The president offered his condolences to the victims, the injured, and their families, and praised the police response.
Le Monde reported that all of the deceased were members of the Kurdish minority and had died both inside and outside of the cultural center. A representative for the center, Agit Polat, accused French authorities of “once more failing to protect us … For us, this is a terrorist attack”.