Three dead, three hurt in shooting at Kurdish cultural center in Paris

(PARIS) — Three people were killed and three others wounded, one critically, in a shooting in Paris on Friday, according to the city’s prosecutor, Laure Beccuau.

The motive for the shooting was not immediately clear, but a 69-year-old suspect from France was taken into custody, according to the prosecutor. The suspect was also wounded.

One man and two women were killed, according to authorities. All three who suffered injuries are men.

An investigation has been opened into murder and aggravated violence charges.

Beccuau confirmed the attacker was already known to the police, and had recently been released from prison. He was also banned from possessing a weapon, the prosecutor said.

The shooting took place at a Kurdish cultural center and two nearby businesses, according to 10th arrondissement Mayor Alexandra Cordebard, where the attack took place.

The prosecutor said a potential racist motive for the attack will be part of the investigation.

“Nothing allows at this stage to accredit any affiliation of this man to an extremist ideological movement,” the French prosecutor said in a statement.

“I extend my deepest condolences and solidarity to the relatives of the victims and to the hard-hit Kurdish community,” Cordebard said, in French, on Twitter.

The same suspect was under investigation for an attack at a migrant camp in Bercy — in the 12th arrondissement — where he allegedly slashed tents with a sword in December 2021, according to Beccuau. He was released on Dec. 12, 2022, after being held for a year, the maximum limit for a provisional detention, prosecutors said.

Authorities said the suspect was a shooter with a sports club and owned several weapons. Police believe he acted alone.

Police said they would increase security in Kurdish areas of Paris with protests breaking out in the wake of the shooting and demonstrators clashing with riot police. Protesters rallied against Turkey and shouted anti-Turkish slogans.

“I have asked all the gendarmerie teams to protect the places where the Kurdish communities meet and the diplomatic holds,” French authorities said in a statement.

Kurds make up about one-fifth of Turkey’s population and have waged an at times violent campaign for independence for nearly four decades, according to the Council on Foreign Relations.

ABC News’ Ibtissem Guenfoud contributed to this report.

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