Dramatic Video Shows Moments of Paris Shooting

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The Champs-Elysees gunman who shot and killed a police officer just days before France's presidential election was detained in February for threatening police but then freed, two officials told The Associated Press on Friday. One officer was killed, as was the gunman, who was carrying a note defending the Islamic State group, a Paris prosecutor said.

As well as the assault rifle used in the attack, a pump action shotgun and knives were in his vehicle, Molins said.

Police, who are still holding several members of his family for interviews, say that they are investigating if Cheurfi had accomplices.

Cheurfi, 39, a French national who lived with his mother in the eastern Paris suburb of Chelles, had spent some 14 years in prison from 2001 for crimes including gun attacks on law enforcement officers. French media are reporting that two police officers were shot Thursday on the famed shopping boulevard.

Police shot and killed Cheurfi after he opened fire on a police van on Paris' most famous boulevard.

France began picking itself up Friday from another deadly shooting claimed by the Islamic State group, with President Francois Hollande convening the government's security council and his would-be successors in the presidential election campaign treading carefully before voting this weekend.

Travelers with a big trip coming up usually follow the news carefully, nervous about unforeseen events, like a terrorist attack, that might cause a postponement.

Early reports on Friday suggested that the unnamed gunman was known to security services and had previously been flagged as an extremist.

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Marine Le Pen of the far right National Front, who is one of the leading candidates to make it to the runoff stage, spoke out in the aftermath of the latest Paris attack and called for the expulsion of foreigners with criminal records.

Interior ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said it was too early to say what the motive of the attack was, but that it was clear the police officers had been deliberately targeted. Security is high preceding the vote after police said they arrested two men Tuesday in what they described as a thwarted terror attack. Scraps of paper scrawled with the addresses of police stations and a satchel of weapons, munitions and the Muslim holy book were discovered in his auto.

"Some haven't taken the full measure of the evil", 63-year-old Fillon said, promising an "iron-fisted" approach.

Iran is failing to fulfill the "spirit" of its nuclear deal with world powers, President Donald Trump has declared, setting an ominous tone for his forthcoming decision about whether to pull the USA out of the landmark agreement.

Speaking after a government security council meeting on Friday morning, French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said, "Barbarity and cowardice struck Paris last night, as they also recently struck elsewhere in Europe - in Berlin, Stockholm, in London".

"We are in a war that will be long", he said.

Meanwhile, the two police officers injured in the attack are said to be out of danger. "His home was searched but the man was not there", the spokesman added.

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