Paris police hunt gunman after shooting at newspaper office

Paris police hunt gunman after shooting at newspaper office
Police and bystanders outside Liberation office

A gunman has shot and wounded a member of staff at a French newspaper in Paris before fleeing.

The daily Liberation said the 27-year-old victim, a photographer’s assistant, is in serious condition. Editor Fabrice Rousselot said the gunman said nothing during the brief time he was in the paper’s reception area.

Police are comparing surveillance footage of the incident with video taken on Friday, when an armed man threatened TV journalists at their offices before fleeing.

Soon after the latest incident shots were fired at the headquarters of a major French bank west of Paris, and a gunman briefly took a man hostage nearby.

Police said that it was not clear if the three incidents are linked, but were increasing security in all three places as well as media offices around Paris.

The French culture minister called the newspaper – an outspoken left-leaning voice founded by Jean-Paul Sartre that has seen financial difficulties and redundancies in recent years – a “pillar of our democracy.”

Less than two hours after the shooting at Liberation, three shots were fired in front of the headquarters of bank Societe Generale in the Paris suburb of La Defense. No one was hurt.

Then 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, and then let him go on the Champs-Elysees.

The government stationed police at all major media organisations in Paris. President Francois Hollande ordered them to “mobilise all means to clarify the circumstances of these acts and arrest the perpetrator or perpetrators.”

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