A gunman has opened fire in central Paris, killing three people and wounding four others.
Witnesses said the attacker targeted a Kurdish community centre and restaurant and prosecutors said they would look into a possible racist motive.
A suspect aged 69 was quickly arrested and it soon emerged he was freed from custody recently.
Authorities appealed for people to avoid the area in Strasbourg-Saint Denis in the 10th district of Paris.
There is no confirmed motive for the shooting, but Paris Prosecutor Laure Beccuau confirmed that that the suspect had just been released, a year after he had attacked tents at a migrant camp in Paris with a sword.
That incident took place at Bercy on 8 December 2021. It was not clear why he had been released.
Local Mayor Alexandra Cordebard said the suspect was also wounded in the shooting and that three places had come under fire: the Kurdish community centre, a restaurant and a hairdresser. Two people were shot in the salon.
“We saw an old white man enter, then start shooting in the Kurdish cultural centre, then he went to the hairdresser’s next door,” restaurant worker Romain told AFP.
“It’s total panic, we’ve locked ourselves in,” one shopkeeper said.
The witness said she had heard seven or eight bursts of gunfire. Two of those wounded in the shooting are said to be in a critical condition and two others were seriously injured.
Police detained the suspect without resistance and reportedly recovered the weapon used in the attack. Prosecutors said they had opened a murder investigation. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo praised police for their decisive action.
The attack took place almost 10 years after the murder of three Kurdish women in Paris in January 2013.
The street close to Château d’Eau metro station has several restaurants and shops as well as the cultural centre. Alexandra Cordebard said it was a very lively area.
Another witness said the street was now full of emergency services and they were waiting to be able to leave.
Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said he was heading to Paris to visit the scene of the “dramatic shooting”, adding that his thoughts were with the victims’ friends and family.