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Paris police-killing suspect identified, had criminal history

iStock/Thinkstock
iStock/Thinkstock

(PARIS) — The suspect who shot one police officer dead and injured two others in Paris Thursday night has been identified as Karim Cheurfi.

Previously, French police identified the suspect but did not immediately release his name, saying only that he is a 39-year-old French national from an eastern suburb of Paris.

On Friday, Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins confirmed that Cherufi was the attacker. He was identified by ID cards found on his person and corroborated by fingerprints.

A piece of paper that was found in his pocket praised ISIS and other papers found between seats in his vehicle showed addresses of various police departments. In the trunk of his car, investigators found a black bag containing a pump-action shotgun, knives, scissors and a Koran, according to Molins.

Cherufi was killed in a shootout with police after he got out of his car on the Champs Elysees and opened fire at a police vehicle.

Cherufi was known to authorities and had a long and violent criminal history going back well over a decade, including attempts to attack police, but during that time authorities never found evidence that he had been radicalized, Molins said Friday.

He had four convictions, two for violence committed against a guard and a fellow inmate while in prison. He was most recently convicted in 2014 for home burglary, refusing to stop a car and concealing stolen goods, Molins said.

Cherufi traveled to Algeria earlier this year — allegedly to get married — even though he was on parole. When he returned, he was reprimanded for breaking the terms of his parole.

Three people associated with Cherufi have been detained for questioning, though his connection to those individuals was not publicly released.

As with all other similar attacks in France, investigators are looking into the possibility of accomplices. So far none have been identified and there does not appear to be a connection between this attack and any other suspects.

Shortly after the attack, ISIS claimed responsibility and praised the attacker, though they used a different name to identify the man that they believed was responsible.


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