(CNN) — French police fired tear gas amid clashes with protesters outside a Kurdish community center in central Paris, where a gunman earlier killed three people and wounded four others.
A lawyer for the center confirmed to CNN that the three people killed in and around the Ahmet-Kaya Kurdish Cultural Center on Rue d’Enghien were ethnic Kurds.
The alleged attacker, a 69-year-old French man with a long criminal record, was arrested.
He was not part of any far-right group under police surveillance, French Interior Minister Gérald Dormanin told reporters at the scene.
“At the moment, no body has allowed us to know whether an attack has been launched against the Kurds,” he added.
During Darman’s arrival at the site of the attack, clashes erupted with dozens of protesters, mostly Kurdish immigrants.
Although the shooting has not been classified as a terrorist attack, Paris prosecutor Laure Pécouve announced this Friday that investigators have not ruled out possible “racist motivations” behind the events.
“When it comes to racist motivations, these elements are certainly part of the investigation that has just begun,” Becua said.
President Emmanuel Macron condemned the “horrific attack” “targeting the Kurds of France” in a message on Twitter.
Tarmanin said police in Paris and across France had been ordered to protect Kurdish bases and Turkish embassies after the attack.
He has also asked the French president and prime minister to allow Kurds who want to protest.
The suspect in the shooting was released two weeks ago while the court continued to investigate his previous involvement in violent acts of a “racist nature,” the Paris prosecutor’s office said in a statement.
He has two convictions for gun violence in 2017 and 2022. A Paris court also opened a trial in 2021 for violence of a “racist nature”.
Inside the shooting center, there was a restaurant and a hair salon in front of the center.
Beccuau told reporters at the scene that police knew the suspected attacker had been involved in two incidents: one in the Paris suburb of Seine-Saint-Denis and another at a migrant tent in Percy, near the French finance ministry. , in the 12th arrondissement of Paris.
French police secure the street after multiple shootings on rue d’Enghien in the 10th arrondissement in Paris on December 23, 2022. (Photo by THOMAS SAMSON/AFP via Getty Images)
A recent incident led to his entry into pre-trial custody while the court was investigating.
“At this time, there is no evidence that this individual is associated with any extremist ideological movement,” the statement said.
Following the incident, a crowd gathered near the center where people of Kurdish origin were heard singing the Kurdish phrase “Shehid Namirin”: “The lost are never truly lost, but with us,” the group said. CNN is on top of the land.
Some were heard chanting “Erdogan is a murderer”, referring to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s strong stance against Kurdish nationalism and his policy towards far-left Kurdish militias and political groups in Turkey and Iraq.
Editor’s note: This article has been updated with the latest information.