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New Details About Suspected Gunman In Deadly Paris Attack Emerge

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New details are emerging about the suspected gunman who opened fire on the famed Champs-Elysees Thursday, killing one police officer and wounding three others.

Paris investigators have identified the suspect as 39-year-old Karim Cheurfi after finding his ID cards, authorities said Friday.

Anti-terrorism prosecutor Francois Molins said the suspect was known to police services and to the justice system and said Cheurfi had a note defending ISIS with him at the time of the attack.

Authorities said investigators also found a pump-action shotgun and knives in the gunman’s car.

Raids were also conducted overnight in a Paris suburb and the Paris prosecutor’s office said police detained three of the suspect’s family members for questioning.

Le Parisien newspaper said Cheurfi had done jail time for, among other things, shooting at police officers. French investigators said he tried to murder two officers in 2001.

French media also reports that he was arrested again just two months ago for expressing an intention to kill police officers, but was released for lack of evidence.

Soldiers and police were stationed at multiple locations around the avenue Friday.

Thursday’s attack happened around 9 p.m. Paris time when authorities say the gunman in a car pulled up alongside a parked law enforcement van on the city’s most well-know stretch and opened fire.

Cell phone video of the shooting, still not officially confirmed, appears to show the suspect’s car next to a police van and two men with their weapons drawn. Another video shows the body of the gunman lying in the road.

One police officer was killed, two others were injured and a female tourist was also hurt before police shot and killed the suspect. The popular tourist and shopping area was quickly overcome with panic and chaos.

“Suddenly, five, ten seconds or whatever, policemen came and started to shoot this guy and immediately he was down,” said another witness.

The officer who died has been identified as 37-year-old Xavier Jugele. He was also on duty in 2015 when terrorists hit the Bataclan concert hall, CBS2’s Jessica Moore reported.

The Islamic State group quickly claimed responsibility for the attack, which came days before France’s presidential election.

The attack came as French presidential candidates held their final televised debate, and while candidates there are urging voters not to be “scared into silence” on election day.

In a televised address, outgoing French President Francois Hollande called the shooting the work of terrorists.

On Twitter early Friday morning, President Donald Trump said the attack will have “a big effect” on France’s election.

“Another terrorist attack in Paris. The people of France will not take much more of this. Will have a big effect on presidential election!”

On Thursday, Trump offered his condolences from Washington.

“It’s a very terrible, terrible thing that’s going on in the world today,” he said.

Here at home, NYPD officials say they are closely following developments.

“That is kind of the new normal in New York City. We react on real-time as an effect of globalization and as an effect of our understanding, in many ways, that New York City is the capital of the world,” said Deputy Intelligence and Counterterrorism Commissioner John Miller.

“So we start to say, let’s go for a worst case scenario. Push more resources into Times Square where we already had counter terrorism resources,” Miller continued.

The police van targeted in Paris is nearly identical to the one used by the NYPD’s critical response command. Miller said he reached out to the CRC team personally.

“I know you’re paying attention every day, but make sure that you’re not just paying attention to the target you’re guarding, pay attention to who’s paying attention to you,” he said.

Hollande was meeting with his top defense and security leaders on Friday. The Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said both of the officers who were injured are doing better.

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