Lone gunman linked to both Paris shootings

Lone gunman linked to both Paris shootings
Police near Societe General Bank HQ

A lone gunman is on the loose in Paris after shooting and wounding a newspaper worker days after opening fire at a TV station in the French capital.

The gunman went into the reception of the daily paper Liberation and seriously injured a photographer’s assistant before fleeing. Soon afterwards shots were fired at the headquarters of a major French bank west of Paris, and then took a man hostage nearby but released him later.

Paris prosecutor Francis Molins said: “Considering these four cases ... we believe a single gunman is the most likely possibility.”

He said the gunman’s motive was not known.

President Francois Hollande also confirmed that the attack at Liberation and the shooting on Friday at the offices of the BFM-TV news network were carried out by the same man.

Police increased security at all media offices around Paris in response.

The 27-year-old Liberation worker was in a serious condition in hospital after being shot in the chest and arm. Witnesses said the gunman said nothing during the brief time he was in the lobby.

Less than two hours after that shooting, three shots were fired in front of the headquarters of the bank Societe Generale in the Paris suburb of La Defense about six miles away but no-one was injured.

Shortly after that, a man called police to say he had been taken hostage by a gunman in the town of Puteaux, next door to La Defense. Police said the gunman forced his hostage to drive back toward central Paris, then let him go on the Champs-Elysees.

BFM-TV said police were comparing surveillance footage from Liberation with video taken on Friday, when the man fired a gun and threatened journalists in the news network’s lobby before fleeing. The bullet casings were also being compared.

BFM-TV aired images from its surveillance cameras of a man waving a rifle in the building, then running away down the street.

Mr Hollande said he had ordered police to “mobilise all means to clarify the circumstances of these acts and arrest the perpetrator or perpetrators.”

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