Paris shooting: Fear of repeat attacks as police hunt gunman that opened fire on Libération newspaper

Soon afterwards shots were fired at the headquarters of a major French bank just west of Paris, and a gunman took a man hostage briefly nearby

Fear gripped the French media world last night after the government warned that a gunman who attacked the left-wing newspaper Libération is likely to strike again.

The man, dressed in a khaki parka and dark cap, burst into the newspaper's reception area in eastern Paris yesterday and fired at least two fragmentation bullets from a pump-action rifle, gravely wounding a young photographer. The same gunman, a short-haired or shaven-headed "European" in his 40's, is believed to have threatened staff at the news channel BFM TV last Friday.

An hour after the shooting at Libération, a man of the same description fired random shots at the headquarters of the bank Société Générale in the La Défense office district just west of Paris proper. A few minutes later a car was hijacked at gunpoint nearby and then abandoned on the Avenue des Champs Elysées, near the Arc de Triomphe.

Police said last night that they were looking for a single suspect for all three incidents.

Throughout the afternoon and evening teams of heavily armed police combed the streets around the busiest thoroughfare in the French capital. A helicopter circled low overhead. Police cars drove slowly up and down the Champs Elysees to allow officers to scan the faces of passers-by.

In-mid afternoon, there was an alert at the Maison de la Radio, the home of the state radio channels on the right bank of the Seine. It was reported that the gunman might be approaching. All staff were ordered to go to their offices. The alert came to nothing.

Hazy pictures of the presumed gunman, taken by security cameras, were published this evening. They showed a beefy-looking, white man with short hair or a shaven head, wearing a khaki parka, dark glasses and light blue jeans.

The interior minister, Manuel Valls, said that the  Libération entrance hall had been turned into a "war scene which has no place in a democracy". He warned that it was likely that the gunman would try to strike at the media again.

"This is an attack not just on Libération but on on all French journalists and all French people. There can be no tolerance for people who attack fundamental liberties," he said.

A 27 years old freelance photographer, who was helping to put together a Christmas special for the newspaper's weekend magazine, was struck at point blank range in the back and shoulder. He was said to be "critically ill" last night after emergency operations at the La Pitié Salpètriere hospital.

Lionel, who works in the Libération computer department, described the attack on the newspaper's Facebook page. "There was blood everywhere and cartridges on the floor," he said. "I started to give first aid to the victim… I had to keep him from losing consciousness. He had been struck by a fragmentation bullet, as big as a thumb, fired at point-blank range. It went into his back and came out by his left breast."

Nicolas Demorand, Libération's publisher, said that newspaper had no security at its front entrance because it did not want to "work behind a bullet-proof screen". Libération, founded 40 years ago by the philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre amongst others, is a left-wing daily newspaper aimed chiefly at the young. Its front page today was devoted to a new plan to combat poverty in troubled multi-racial suburbs.

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
scotland decidesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping First Minister up at night?
Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmSo what makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes the hobby look 'dysfunctional', they say
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Maths Teacher

£90 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Science Teacher (mater...

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for an ...

Maths Teacher

£22000 - £37000 per annum: Randstad Education Leeds: A West Yorkshire School i...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week