Paris shooting: Moment terrorist is shot dead after killing a police officer and wounding two others in attack on Champs Élysées

Daniel O'Mahony

This is the moment a gunman armed with a Kalashnikov rifle is shot dead in Paris after killing a police officer and wounding two others.

An armed policeman stands over the corpse of the attacker who was shot dead on the Champs Élysées in Paris just three days before the French presidential election.

The gunman has been named by French police as Karim Cheurfi, 39, also referred to as Abu Yusuf al-Baljiki by ISIS media channels which have claimed responsibility for the attack.

He is reported to have been released from prison last year after serving 15 years of a 20-year jail sentence for attacking police officers.

Armed police surround the gunman after shooting him, halting his attack targeting police in the French capital

Anti-terror detectives were today searching his home in Chelles, a commuter town east of Paris.

A woman tourist was also wounded in the incident outside a branch of Marks & Spencer in the French capital.

The gunman was identified as Karim Cheurfi, 39, who was known to French police (AP)

Police have launched a terrorism investigation and the so-called Islamic State extremist group claimed responsibility for the attack.

The world-famous avenue was sealed off and nearby stations on the Paris Metro closed as investigations began.

French police warned the public to stay away from the area and armed officers were at the scene.

Tourists have told of their terror at being caught up in the attack

A terrified family caught up in the attack have revealed today how they looked the gunman “in the eyes” before running for their lives as he opened fire on police.

John Finney, 51, shielded his wife and children as they fled the attacker.

The Finney family, tourists visiting Paris en route to London from their home in Kentucky. were walking down the famous boulevard when a series of blasts rang out.

Mr Finney told the Standard: “My wife and I looked him in the eye. It was like slow-motion. We are blessed to be alive.”

His 16-year-old son Jack said: “There was a single gunman in black clothes on the sidewalk in between a hotel and a police van. Three rounds of machine gun fire were shot off.

Forensic experts investigate the crime scene after the shooting (AP)

“He was about 20ft from us on the crowded street. It was a Kalashnikov, all black. It was very terrifying.

“Everyone started running including me. We saw a few people fall. My dad held his arms out and covered as much of us as he could as we ran away, not sure if we were going to be shot at.

“I knew more and more attacks have been happening here but I really didn’t expect one to happen as I walked down such a famous street.”

Police officers on the Champs Elysees (AP)

The family sought refuge in a nearby branch of Swatch along with other shocked witnesses before being given the all-clear by police more than two hours later.

Mr Finney said that French special forces and bomb squads were “sweeping every inch of the area involved” following the attack.

He said his family, who are scheduled to travel on to London on Sunday, would not be scared into returning home early.

Bystanders raise their arms as police seal off the Champs Elysees avenue in Paris (AP)

He said: “We will not live in fear and we will not bow to the terrorists.”

The shooting – believed to be the sixth fatal terrorist outrage in France since January 2015 - came three days before the first round of voting in the French presidential election.

Following the shooting British Foreign secretary Boris Johnson tweeted: “Appalled by attack on #Paris police officers. My condolences to victims & their loved ones. UK & France at one in fight against terror.”