Last Updated Apr 20, 2017 6:58 PM EDT
PARIS — Thehas claimed responsibility for in which a gunman killed a police officer and left two others gravely wounded.
In a statement from its Amaq news agency, the group gave a pseudonym for the shooter indicating he was Belgian.
The attacker opened fire on a police van on the avenue before being killed.
The claim of responsibility came unusually swiftly for the group, which has been losing territory in Iraq and Syria.
And the pseudonym, Abu Yusuf al-Beljiki, indicated that the attacker already had ties of some sort to ISIS extremists.
Soon after the Arabic language statement, the group sent one out in French, describing it as an attack “in the heart of Paris.”
Officials say the suspect opened fire with a Kalashnikov — which is another name for the AK-47.
CBS News spoke with a tourist who witnessed the shooting and said a man started shooting at police and seconds later police returned fire and he went down.
French media are identifying the suspect by a completely different name: Karime C. They report that he has done jail time in France for attempted murder trying to kill three men including two police officers.
France’s anti-terrorism prosecutor says that searches are under way and three police officials say at least one location in the eastern Paris suburbs was being searched early Friday.
French President Francois Hollande held a press conference after an emergency meeting with Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve.
He said the entire area is on lockdown and a full investigation will be carried out to figure out the motive. Hollande said he is convinced the circumstances of the shooting points to a terrorist act.
The president said a bystander was shot and sent condolences to the families of the victims. He announced there will be a national tribute on Friday as well as a security cabinet meeting.
The Paris prosecutor’s office said counterterrorism investigators are involved in the probe.
Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said that police officers killed the attacker. He said one police officer was killed and two others were seriously injured and hospitalized.
Brandet says while witnesses have described only one gunman, the possibility of accomplices can’t be ruled out.
CBS News’ Elizabeth Palmer contributed to this report.
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