Paris Orly Airport Shooting: 1 Dead

(Photo: Kamil Zihnioglu, Associated Press)

On Saturday morning around 7 a.m. local time at Paris-Orly Airport in Paris, France, a man was shot dead by authorities after seizing a soldier’s weapon and fleeing the airport, in what local police are calling a “possible attempted terrorist attack.” The suspect, later identified as Ziyed Ben Belgacem, removed a soldiers weapon then sought refuge at a nearby airport shop. “The man was heard yelling his allegiance to Allah,” local authorities mentioned.

Local authorities secured the scene all-day Saturday. (Photo: Christian Hartmann, Al Jazeera)

The attack began with the suspect shooting a pellet gun at security officers at a security checkpoint, where he then shot at customers at a café nearby. He then escaped, driving to Orly Airport where he took a female soldier hostage and wrestled her weapon away from her. Upon falling, security shot and killed the suspect, in an attack that is being said to have lasted only 2 minutes.

French president Francois Hollande said in a statement that the French government would “act relentlessly to fight terrorism, to defend the security of our compatriots and to ensure the protection of their territory.”

He later added, “Vigilance would be maintained at it’s highest level.”

France has been under a state of emergency since a set of terrorist attacks a year and a half ago, in which 130 people were killed by members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Along with these attacks, another man claiming allegiance to ISIL plowed a truck through a busy French promenade in Nice on July 14th, in which 80 people were killed. Since these attacks, French security has been on high alert at all borders, airports, and other international entry points where a terrorist attack is most likely to occur.

The airport was closed for several hours after the attack, causing multiple cancellations and delays across the facility. (Photo: Kamil Zihnioglu, Associated Press)