'French police have killed the main suspect in the deadly Strasbourg Christmas market shooting, Cherif Chekat, following a dramatic, helicopter-assisted raid and a shootout in the city center.
More than 700 officers and military personnel, as well as two helicopters, were engaged in a 48-hour operation to hunt down the 29-year-old suspect, following the Christmas Market attack on Tuesday.
With France’s threat alert level raised to the max, ‘wanted’ posters of the gunman were made public across the city, which sits on the German border. Heavily armed police brigades continued to keep guard in Strasbourg two days after the suspect fled the scene.
Strasbourg: les forces de l'ordre commencent à quitter la zone progressivement pic.twitter.com/WU1YDmSAR3
— BFMTV (@BFMTV) December 13, 2018
By Thursday afternoon, the Paris prosecutor’s office had arrested a fifth suspect in connection with the shooting, who they believe was a member of the “entourage” of Chekat. Paris even fortified its border checkpoints with Germany, to block the suspect's potential escape routes.
Around 9:00pm Thursday night, while brushing through the center of Strasbourg with the helicopters buzzing above, three national police officers spotted an “individual” matching the suspect's description casually “strolling” the streets, roughly two kilometers away from where he launched his attack, Interior Minister Christophe Castaner told reporters.
When the officers approached the man to question him, he turned around and started shooting.'
Read more: Strasbourg Christmas market gunman killed in shootout with police - Dead men tell no tales