Hundreds of police have taken up strategic positions in Paris a day after shootings at the Societe Generale bank and Liberation newspaper. The daily ran an editorial by its director entitled 'We will continue'.
Parisian police continued their hunt on Tuesday for a white man aged between 35 and 45 captured on security camera footage on Monday (pictured above). Officers took up positions outside media offices, on the Champs Elysees and at entrances to underground train stations as they sought the unidentified assailant. President Francois Hollande had called on the authorities to "mobilize all means" in the manhunt.
The suspect, whose image was released by the police on Monday, was described by Interior Minister Manuel Valls as "a real danger."
He attacked the offices of the center-left Liberation paper and the Societe Generale bank, critically wounding a 23-year-old photographer for Liberation. It was the photographer's first day in the office at a new job.
The gunman disappeared after forcing a motorist to drive him to the Champs Elysees. Police believe the same man was the armed intruder who on Friday threatened staff at television news channel BFMTV.
"Given the similarities in the four incidents, between the modus operandi, the physical appearance and attire of the perpetrator, and also in the ammunition gathered, we believe we are dealing with a single perpetrator," Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said.
Photographer 'in a slightly better state'
French Cultural Minister Aurelie Filipetti said on Tuesday that the press "must be able to carry out its work, its essential functions, without having to wall itself in."
Liberation's director, Nicolas Demorand, penned an editorial for the Tuesday edition saying his paper would continue its work.
Liberation devoted four pages to the attack on its offices, filling most of its November 19 cover with a quote from a staff member who was present. "He pulled out a rifle and fired, twice," the cover page states in large bold font. Witnesses reported that the attacker's weapon jammed as he tried to fire a third shot.
The photographer, a native of the southern city of Toulon, suffered buckshot wounds to the chest and stomach. According to Nicolas Demorand, speaking to France Inter, the man was "still critical," but "in a slightly better state" on Tuesday morning after emergency surgery.
Although the assailant is thought to have later fired several shots outside the offices of Societe Generale, he hit nobody.
The police's trail of the suspect's movements goes cold as of around 1 p.m. (1200 UTC) on Monday.
msh/se (AFP, Reuters)