Paris Police Have Cordoned Off The Notre-Dame Cathedral Following Reports Of A Shooting

Paris police have cordoned off the area around the Notre-Dame cathedral following reports of gunshots in the area. According to Reuters, local television station BFM TV indicated an officer had shot a man who tried to attack him. BBC News followed up this report with additional information, including the revelation that the attacker was wielding a hammer when he tried to assail the officer who shot him. The official Twitter account for the city’s police department confirmed that an incident had occurred outside the Notre-Dame cathedral, but didn’t offer any details. The tweet did, however, advise everyone to “avoid the area.”

Early reports indicated that both the officer and his attacker were alive. En lieu of any more concrete details from the scene, however, Parisians, tourists and journalists in the area began tweeting information from the scene throughout the ordeal. Some were even temporarily “trapped” inside the cathedral itself.

While those outside documented the massive police presence in and around the cathedral.

It’s too early to tell whether the incident was a terrorist attack. Yet ever since the coordinated November 2015 attack that left 130 people dead — and subsequent incidents at the Louvre, Orly Airport and the Avenue des Champs-Elysées — France has been in what BBC News calls a “state of emergency.”

UPDATE #1: According to Paris police, the Notre-Dame situation has been “controlled.” Both the officer and his attacker were wounded in the incident, and have been transported to a local hospital.

UPDATE #2: French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb told reporters the attacker exclaimed, “This is for Syria,” before launching himself at three Parisian police officers outside of the Notre-Dame cathedral. He also noted the assailant was carrying an ID card identifying him as an Algerian student, and that in addition to the hammer, he possessed numerous kitchen knives.

(Via BBC News, Reuters and CBS News)