A gunman opened fire at a Kurdish Cultural Center in Paris Friday, killing three people and injuring three others, reports the Associated Press. A 69-year-old French man was arrested and placed in police custody.
While names of the victims have not yet been released, Paris Prosecutor Laure Beccuau confirmed three people hit in the shooting have died, one is in critical condition, and two others are hospitalized with less serious injuries. The attacker was also wounded in the face.
The suspect reportedly has a past criminal record, including to prior arrests for attempted murder. According to the French prosecutor, the man had recently been released by authorities before the Friday shooting. He was also arrested for attacking a refugee camp in 2021, where he reportedly injured two migrants with a sword.
An investigation has been launched into the shooting, in part to determine whether the attack had racist motives and was a hate crime. Anti-terrorism prosecutors are also in contact with investigators but haven’t indicated any sign of a terrorist motive, reports AP.
The attack occurred near the Kurdish Cultural Center, a restaurant, and a hair salon, according to Alexandra Cordebard, mayor of the 10th arrondissement. The area has since been blocked off, and police have warned people to stay away from the area.
The attack comes as the streets of Paris are especially busy with people getting ready for the holiday weekend, leaving locals to worry that the shooting could be part of a larger crime spree. France was hit by a string of deadly attacks by Islamic extremists in 2015-2016 and remains on alert for terrorism-related violence.