Mass Shooting Suspect Found, Killed

French police say Strasbourg shooter died in shootout
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 13, 2018 5:30 PM CST
Christmas Market Shooter Killed in Shootout
French police officers patrol in the streets front of flowers to pay respects of the victims following an attack killing three persons and wounding at least 13, in Strasbourg, eastern France, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018.   (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

The man authorities say killed three people near a Christmas market in Strasbourg died Thursday in a shootout with police at the end of two-day manhunt, French authorities said. Paris prosecutor's office, which handles terror cases in France, formally identified the man killed in the eastern French city as 29-year-old Cherif Chekatt, a Strasbourg-born man with a long history of convictions for various crimes, including robberies. Chekatt also had been on a watch list of potential extremists, the AP reports. The news came a couple of hours after Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said a man believed to be Chekatt had been gunned down during a police operation in the city's Neudorf neighborhood. Castaner said the suspect opened fire on police Thursday night when officials tried to arrest him.

Strasbourg mayor Roland Ries said police acted on a tip from a woman. Chekatt is accused of killing three people and wounding 13 on Tuesday night. Castaner said earlier Thursday that three of the injured had been released from the hospital and three others were fighting for their lives. More than 700 officers were deployed to find Chekatt, government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux told CNews television. French authorities said Chekatt had 27 criminal convictions, receiving the first at age 13. The SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors extremist activity online, said the Islamic State group's Amaq news agency was claiming the gunman as a "soldier" of the group, although ISIS' claims of responsibility have often been considered opportunistic in the past. (Click for more on the five people arrested in connection with the attack investigation.)

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