The French police have killed the gunman they say was responsible for the deadly shooting at a crowded street market in Strasbourg, officials said Thursday, ending a huge manhunt for the fugitive in and around the city.
“The assailant in the deadly Strasbourg attack has been neutralized,” the regional National Police said in a tweet, referring to the suspect, Chérif Chekatt.
Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said that around 9 p.m., three members of the National Police saw a “suspicious individual” who resembled the suspect, walking along a road near the neighborhood of Neudorf, a residential area south of Strasbourg’s city center.
The officers tried to stop him, Mr. Castaner said, and the person turned to face them, firing a gun. They shot back and killed him.
Hundreds of police officers had been searching for two days for Mr. Chekatt, 29, who opened fire at a popular Christmas market on Tuesday night. His attack killed three people, left one person brain-dead and injured several others, the local prefecture said on Thursday, adding another victim to the death toll.
The authorities declared the shooting an act of terrorism, and said that the suspect had been flagged as a potential threat before the attack.
The shooting sowed panic in the streets of Strasbourg, and in its aftermath the gunman escaped into a taxi to another part of the city, eluding capture. After exiting the taxi, he came across more officers, who shot in his direction but lost track of him, said the Paris prosecutor, Rémy Heitz, who handles terrorism investigations nationwide.
Officials named Mr. Chekatt as the suspect the day after the attack, and described him as a career criminal, born in Strasbourg, and a danger to the public. He had become known to prison officials “for his radicalization and his proselytizing attitude,” Mr. Heitz said on Wednesday.
The police said they also had taken into custody five people associated with the suspect.