Paris Orly airport has been evacuated and is on lockdown after a terror suspect was shot dead inside the terminal.
All flights have been grounded and arrivals are being diverted to nearby Paris Charles de Gaulle airport as security forces deal with the incident.
— The Red Elephants (@RealRedElephant) March 18, 2017
It is believed that the terror suspect – a radicalized Muslim on a terror watchlist – earlier opened fire on police officers at a road check north of Paris while making his way to the airport.
A female police officer was shot in the head during that earlier incident and the man then stole, and later abandoned, two cars as he made his way to Orly airport. The injured officer is not thought to be seriously hurt.
— Police Nationale (@PoliceNationale) March 18, 2017
While inside Orly’s southern terminal he managed to grab a gun from a counter-terrorism soldier patrolling inside the airport.
The suspect then fled into a McDonald’s restaurant at the airport where he was shot dead by the security services.
As the drama unfolded, French police tweeted: “Ongoing police operation. Do not cross the security perimeter, follow instructions. Avoid the airport.”
French Interior Minstry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said that no one else was injured in the incident and that no explosives were found on the man’s body.
Eyewitness Franck Lecam, who was checking in for a flight to Tel Aviv, said he heard three or four shots ring out.
He said: “There are policemen, emergency workers and soldiers everywhere in all directions. A security official told us that it happened near gates 37-38 where Turkish Airlines flights were scheduled.”
— Paris Aéroport (@ParisAeroport) March 18, 2017
Around 3,000 people were evacuated from the airport because of the incident and the public were warned to stay away as bomb squad officers searched the airport for explosives.
A police source said the terror suspect involved in today’s incident was “a radicalised Muslim known to intelligence services and the justice system.”
France remains on high alert after a series of recent high profile terror attacks and a state of emergency remains in place until at least the end of July.