French officials declined to attach a motive to the attack, although they said police were deliberately targeted and that they were opening a terrorism investigation. A man got out and opened fire with a kalashnikov on a policeman", witness Chelloug, a kitchen assistant, told Reuters."The policeman fell down. Panicked tourists fled the scene, and the assailant was shot dead as he tried to make his escape. He shot two officers in 2001 after being stopped by a police, according to the source.
Meanwhile, the two police officers injured in the attack are said to be out of danger.
A spokeswoman for the Paris police, Johanna Primevert, said the gunman attacked police guarding an area near the Franklin Roosevelt metro station Thursday night at the center of the heavily traveled Champs-Elysees.
The shooting comes just two days after the arrest of two men in southern Marseille with weapons and explosives who were suspected of preparing an attack to disrupt the first-round of the presidential election on Sunday.
ISIS claims credit for fatal Paris shooting
Earlier this week, two men were arrested in Marseille who police said had been planning an attack ahead of the election . Paris police spokeswoman Johanna Primevert told The Associated Press that the attacker appeared to be acting alone.
At the time of the shooting, all 11 presidential candidates were appearing on television.
The country has been in a state of emergency and on its highest terror alert since 2015 when a series of attacks on Paris and Nice left more than 200 people dead.
Armed police have been deployed to the landmark after the shooting. President Hollande says he is convinced the circumstances of the shooting points to a terrorist act. "It's a very bad thing that's going on in the world today", Trump said, adding that he thought it was "another terrorist attack", though there has been no formal confirmation of that at this point.
Police and soldiers sealed off the area, ordering tourists back into hotels and blocking people from approaching the scene.
Conservative contender Francois Fillon, who has campaigned against "Islamic totalitarianism", said on France 2 television that he was canceling his planned campaign stops Friday.
Emotional Bartra opens up on the 'longest 15 minutes of his life'
Unsurprisingly, security was tightened for the match following an incident German chancellor Angela Merkel had described as "repugnant".
Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said on BFM television that a man came out of a auto and opened fire on a police vehicle.
As the first details of the attack filtered through, US President Donald Trump said that "it looks like another terrorist attack. It never ends", the President said. "We have to be strong and we have to be vigilant".
"It's too early to say how or whether he was connected to what happened on the Champs Elysees", ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said. Police took into custody three of his family members, a legal source said on Friday.
The famous wide street that leads away from the Arc de Triomphe that had earlier been crowded with Parisians and tourists enjoying a spring evening remained closed off at around 11pm (4am Thailand time), some two hours or more after the incident.
The risk for the main candidates was that misjudging the public mood, making an ill-perceived gesture or comment, could damage their chances.
Spanish royal visit to UK postponed due to early election
In an election set to be defined by Brexit, the visit could prove awkward given tensions over the sovereignty of Gibraltar. The last Spanish state visit to Britain was that of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia in 1986.
Far-right leader Marine Le Pen insisted that "all is not done to protect our fellow citizens" and that she would put an end to "permissiveness" and "naivety".