A manhunt is underway in France for a gunman who opened fire on the popular Christmas market in Strasbourg near the border with Germany. The suspect was heard shouting Allahu Akbar – meaning “Allah is great” in Arabic.
Two people were killed and another is brain dead while 12 more were wounded. Several of them are fighting for their lives in critical condition.
French police say they are looking for 29-year-old Cherif Chekatt as their suspect. He has an extensive record in France and Germany with 25 cases against him and is considered an “extremist.”
The military had him corned at one point but he managed to escape.
One bystander says he didn’t realize what was happening at first. “I heard gunshots outside. I heard like 2 or 3 gunshots at first, which I thought were just firecrackers,” Maurice said.
People captured video of the area where the attack happened and the sounds of the shooting on their phones while others rushed to find somewhere safe to hide.
“After the shots started again, there were like between 5 and 10 afterwards. And people started yelling and I could hear crowds running away. That’s when I realized there was actually a shooting going on,” Maurice said.
Store owners closed their shops and residents were ordered to stay indoors. France also raised its terror-threat level.
There are reports Chekatt was on a watch list and possibly had been radicalized in prison.
Just, two years ago another Christmas market in Europe was terrorized when a truck rammed through a street in Berlin killing 12 people.