Multiple news sources are reporting that gunshots were fired outside the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. The UK’s Mirror reports that Police have confirmed an “incident” is underway, and are warning people to stay away.
A French journalist claimed police shot a man armed with a hammer, but this is unconfirmed.
Another French Journalist, David Rahul Métreau, said: “All what I can say is that a vehicle resembling an armored truck is in front of the Notre Dame Cathedral.”
Witness Mark Johnson posted on Twitter: “Loud bangs just now at Notre Dame. Crowd scattered. Sirens going off.”
Another witness said: “We’re trapped in Notre-Dame de Paris, something is happening outside. Police sirens can be heard. They are not letting anyone in or out.”
The BBC states that the hammer-wielding person attempted to attack a police officer and was shot in response. It also helpfully reminds us that France has officially been under a State of Emergency “since attacks by [Islamic] jihadists in Paris left 130 people dead in 2015.”
UPDATE: Sky News reports that the as-yet unidentified hammer-wielding attacker was “neutralized” by police — an apparent euphemism for “being shot in the thorax” and is in the hospital at this time. “[H]is motive remains unclear.” One Parisian officer was also wounded, and his condition is also unknown at this time.
“[A] couple of thousand people” were apparently inside the cathedral at the time. A photo run by Sky News apparently taken during the operation shows a mass of people assuming the position.
Sky News states that “Those who were trapped inside were gradually being allowed to leave once ‘usual’ security checks had taken place.”
UPDATE 2: The French Interior Minister states that the suspect yelled “This is for Syria!” as he attacked the police officer. So, perhaps they’re making progress in putting together a motive.