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French police kill Strasbourg shooting suspect: prosecutor



French police on Thursday killed the suspected Strasbourg Christmas market shooter, a spokesman for the Paris prosecutor’s office told media.

The suspect was identified on Wednesday as 29-year-old Chérif Chekatt, a Strasbourg native. Chekatt is believed to have fatally gunned down three people, injuring roughly a dozen others.

Police said Chekatt was armed with a handgun and a knife when he opened fire on a Christmas market in Strasbourg on Tuesday. He allegedly yelled “Allahu akbar” — Arabic for “God is great” — and exchanged gunfire with security forces.

Paris prosecutor Rémy Heitz said Wednesday that Chekatt was well-known to authorities before Tuesday’s attack, and had racked up 27 convictions across France, Germany, and Switzerland for violent crimes and thefts.

Read more:French police identified the suspected Strasbourg gunman because he fled the shooting scene in a taxi and bragged to the driver about his attack

29-year-old Chérif Chekatt, left.
Reuters/Police Nationale

“He had been incarcerated multiple times and was known to the prison administration for his radicalization and his proselytizing attitude,” Heitz said, according to The New York Times.

French security services had also flagged Chekatt on the country’s “Fiche S” or “S File” database, which lists some 20,000 people suspected of radicalization or posing a national-security risk.

Earlier on Tuesday, police had attempted to arrest Chekatt as part of an unrelated murder investigation, according to Laurent Nuñez, the secretary of state for France’s interior ministry. Police even searched Chekatt’s apartment and found a defensive grenade, a rifle, ammunition, and knives.

But Nuñez said Chekatt evaded arrest that morning, and went on to allegedly attack the Christmas market. Authorities have arrested four people associated with Chekatt.

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