French police have killed the main suspect in the Strasbourg Christmas market shooting, Cherif Chekat, following a dramatic, helicopter-assisted police raid in a city-center district, the country’s Interior Minister confirmed.
The French police mounted a massive operation in Strasbourg on Thursday, involving armed officers from the elite RAID police unit and the helicopter.
Three or four gunshots shots were fired in the city’s La Meinau district and at least one person was killed, Reuters reported.
Strasbourg: les forces de l’ordre commencent à quitter la zone progressivement pic.twitter.com/WU1YDmSAR3
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The suspect, earlier identified as 29-year-old Cherif Chekat, was first to shoot at the officers and was killed by return fire, a source said.
Interior Minister, Christophe Castaner, has confirmed that Chekat was “neutralized” in the raid.
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Photos have surfaced on social media allegedly showing Chekat’s body. They depict a man with a gunshot wound to the head lying on the pavement with a gun next to him.
There were also videos of Strasbourg residents giving a standing ovation to the law enforcers over the successful operation.
WATCH: Citizens of Strasbourg, France came out this evening and applauded the police just 30 minutes after Strasbourg terror suspect Cherif Chekatt was shot dead in Neudorf district: pic.twitter.com/zlU9FqznYG
— BNL NEWS (@BreakingNLive) December 13, 2018
Tuesday’s attack at a popular Christmas market left three people dead and a dozen wounded. Chekat was shouting “Allahu Akbar” as he opened fire at the unsuspecting shoppers.
The perpetrator was injured in the arm during a shootout with the police, but managed to hijack a taxi and flee the scene, triggering a manhunt.
— The European Post (@theEUpost) December 12, 2018
Chekat had a huge criminal record, being convicted 27 times for various offenses committed in France, Germany, and Switzerland. He was shadowed by DGSI, France’s homeland security agency, for harboring extremist views.