An eyewitness has described a man getting out of a car and opening fire “with a Kalashnikov” on the Champs-Elysees.
Two police officers have reportedly been killed in Paris by a gunman who was then shot dead.
The attacker is believed to have deliberately targeted the officers and was known to security services.
The officers were shot outside a Marks and Spencer store on the Champs-Elysees – one of the French capital’s main shopping streets and an area popular with tourists.
Police vehicles along the Champs-Elysees, near the Arc De Triomphe
Security has been tight in the country, coming just days before the first round of France’s presidential election on Sunday.
An eyewitness said the gunman got out of a car and began shooting “with a Kalashnikov”.
Police said one of the officers who was killed was in a car which had been stopped at a red light by the attacker.
The gunman opened fire as the officers were guarding an area near the Franklin Roosevelt metro station on Thursday night.
Despite the attacker being killed, police are still on high alert and officers have been seen pointing their weapons at members of public as they clear the area.
Emergency services at the scene of the attack
Authorities are now searching the home of the gunman in the east of Paris.
An interior ministry spokesman said it was too early to say what the motive was for the attack.
It is not known whether it was terror-related.
But the shooting could have been an attempt at an armed robbery, according to police sources.
Many police vehicles can be seen on the famous avenue.
Police officers block access to the Champs-Elysees
A witness identified only as Ines told French television station BFM that she heard a shooting, saw a man’s body on the ground and the area was quickly evacuated by police.
Sky’s Mark White said: “Two men were arrested a few days ago with an arsenal of weapons. And that there was a concern that an attack was being planned to coincide with the French election.”
He added: “The real concern as far as the authorities are concerned, given that we had arrests two days ago and now what looks to be terrorist-related incident is we may be experiencing a wave or some kind of coordinated effort to disrupt the French elections.”
The police investigation of these individuals led them to believe that a planned terrorist attack was due to take place imminently.
US President Donald Trump said the shooting resembled recent terrorist attacks.
He said: “First of all, our condolences from our country to the people of France. Again, it is happening, it seems.
“It looks like another terrorist attack. What can you say? It just never ends. We have to be strong and we have to be vigilant, and I have been saying it for a long time.”
Courtesy of Sky News