5 people dead and 7 have been injured in a shooting in Strasbourg, France
On the evening of 11 December 2018, a mass shooting occurred in Strasbourg, France when a man with a revolver opened fire on civilians in the city's busy Christkindelsmärik (Christmas market), killing five and wounding 11 before fleeing in a taxi. Authorities called the shooting an act of terrorism. The attacker was 29-year-old Chérif Chekatt, who had multiple criminal convictions and was on a security services watchlist as a suspected Islamist extremist. Chekatt was killed in a shootout with French police on the evening of 13 December after a manhunt involving 700 officers.
Christkindelsmärik is the Alsatian dialect name of the Christmas market in Strasbourg, held annually on the square in front of the Strasbourg Cathedral since 1570.
In 2000, a bombing plot was foiled by the French and German police when Al-Qaeda-linked operatives had planned to detonate pressure cookers rigged as bombs in the crowd at the Christkindelsmärik. Since then, the market has been under reinforced security.
In 2016, several people were arrested in Marseille and Strasbourg for preparing a terrorist attack; officials considered cancelling the Christmas market, but it was ultimately held as scheduled.
The perpetrator Chérif Chekatt was a 29-year-old Strasbourg-born man of Algerian ancestry and French citizenship, characterised as a "hardened criminal" who "converted to rigorous Islam." He was known to security services for a total of 27 convictions in France, Germany, and Switzerland, arising from 67 recorded crimes in France alone.
French police considered him a "gangster-jihadist", a term referring to people convicted of various crimes and "radicalised" in prison. Chekatt was released from prison in France in 2015, then received a prison sentence for theft in Singen, Germany and was expelled to France after his release in 2017
Le Monde reported the 5th victim on Sunday as Polish national Barto Pedro Orent-Niedzielski.
Nicknamed "Bartek", the 35-year-old was hit in the head by a bullet and died after five days in a deep coma, the newspaper reported.
Italian journalist Antonio Megalizzi, the 29-year-old was critically injured in the attack and his death was announced three days after the attack.
Mr Megalizzi was in Strasbourg covering the plenary session of the European Parliament for Europhonica radio.
A Thai tourist, identified by media in Thailand as 45-year-old Anupong Suebsamarn, was the first to be confirmed dead. Thai foreign officials confirmed that one of its citizens had died.
Kamal Naghchband, an Afghan national, died of his wounds, his local mosque in Strasbourg announced. The mechanic and father of three was hit in the head and fell into a coma, the Grande Mosquée Eyyûb Sultan said on social media. He had been walking towards the city centre with his family.
Strasbourg mayor Roland Ries told French TV that a local resident, born in 1957, had died on rue des Chandelles. He provided no further detail, though French media reports said he was a recently retired former bank employee.
A French staff member of Europhonica living in Strasbourg was also seriously injured, but did not provide any details.
French newspaper L'Est Republicain said that 28-year-old Jérémy Raoult from Vosges had been in intensive care and put in a coma
Le Républicain Lorrain said that Lola, a 20-year-old student from Metz, had been shot in the back while fleeing. She collapsed and was tended to by a friend while she called her parents, the newspaper said. Her life is no longer in danger, it added.
Jeanne, daughter of local cheesemonger Christelle Lorho, was shot in the arm but is now out of danger, Christelle said on Facebook.
Sources: bbc.co.uk, news.lv, wikipedia.org
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