Paris prosecutor says gunmen who attacked Charlie Hebdo office appeared to know the time and place of magazine's editorial meeting, targeted specific journalists and twice exchanged shots with police
Paris prosecutor Francois Molins has been detailing the deadly attack at the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo
We want to stop these people and I don't need to point out how dangerous they are
He told a news conference that two masked men armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles went into the magazine’s office at 11.30 am and entered the newsroom where there was a meeting of the editorial team going on. He said it appeared they knew the time and place of that meeting.
They opened fired killing 11 people, including a police officer who was assigned to guard the offices. Eight of those murdered were journalists.
Eleven people were wounded in the attacks, and four are in serious condition the prosecutor said.
Survivors have told the authorities that the gunmen shouted “Allah Akbar” and “The prophet has been avenged” and that they had targeted specific journalists.
The attackers then fled the building and got into a black Citroen C3 car parked outside.
Shortly afterwards they were challenged by police who were patrolling in the area on bikes and there was a gun battle, but no one was hit.
Then they encountered a second police patrol and more shots were fired. One police officer was wounded and as he lay on the pavement a gunmen ran over and killed him with a point blank shot to the head.
At that time, according to a witness, there were three suspects in the car, the prosecutor said.
The getaway car was then driven towards the north of Paris, but the gunmen abandoned it after colliding with a VW car in the 10th arrondissement.
At that time they hijacked another car – a Renault Clio – and drove off in it.
Prosecutor Francois Molins told reporters that there is an in-depth multifaceted investigation underway, but he could give no details for fear of compromising police action.
He concluded by calling for witnesses saying this is a major investigation, “We want to stop these people and I don’t need to point out how dangerous they are.”