A man suspected of being the gunman who killed three people near a Christmas market in Strasbourg died in a shootout with police on Thursday following a two-day manhunt.
By Elaine Ganley, Samuel Petrequin and Mstyslav Chernov, Associated Press
December 13 2018 10:32 PM
A man suspected of being the gunman who killed three people near a Christmas market in Strasbourg died in a shootout with police on Thursday following a two-day manhunt.
Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said the dead man’s identity has not been confirmed yet.
But Mr Castaner said the “individual corresponds to the description of the person sought since Tuesday night”, 29-year-old Cherif Chekatt.
A top police official also said “everything indicates” the man was Chekatt.
Mr Castaner said the suspect opened fire on police when officials tried to arrest him.
“The moment they tried to arrest him, he turned around and opened fired. They replied,” Mr Castaner said.
A local police official, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, said the man who shot at police was armed with a pistol and a knife.
The shooting occurred in the Neudorf neighbourhood of Strasbourg, where police searched intensively earlier Thursday for Chekatt.
Chekatt is accused of killing three people and wounding 13 on Tuesday night.
Mr Castaner said earlier Thursday that three of the injured had been released from hospital and three others were fighting for their lives.
More than 700 officers were deployed to find Chekatt, who had a long criminal record and had been flagged for extremism, government spokesman, Benjamin Griveaux told CNews television.
Asked about the instructions they received, Mr Griveaux said the focus was catching Chekatt “as soon as possible”, dead or alive, and to “put an end to the manhunt”.
Security forces, including the elite Raid squad, spent two hours searching in Neudorf on Thursday based on “supposition only” that Chekatt could have been hiding in a building nearby two days after the attack, a French police official said.
Chekatt grew up in Neudorf.
Chekatt allegedly shouted “God is great!” in Arabic and sprayed gunfire from a security zone near the Christmas market Tuesday evening.

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