Three dead after shooting at Kurdish centre in Paris

Three dead after shooting at Kurdish centre in Paris
Three dead after shooting at Kurdish centre in Paris

A 69-year-old gunman opened fire at a Kurdish cultural centre and a hairdressing salon in Paris, killing three people and injuring three others, witnesses and prosecutors said.

The shots shortly before midday caused panic in rue d'Enghien in the trendy 10th district of the French capital, a bustling area of shops and restaurants that is home to a large Kurdish population.

Witnesses said that the gunman, a white Frenchman with a history of racist violence was arrested.

Of the three wounded people, one was being given intensive care in hospital and two were treated for serious injuries, officials said.

The Kurdish community centre, called Centre Ahmet Kaya, is used by a charity that organises concerts and exhibitions.

Within hours of the attack, Kurdish protesters clashed with police, who used teargas in an attempt.

Demonstrators threw objects at police while voicing fury over an attack they saw as deliberate and which they said French security services had done too little to prevent. 

The alleged shooter, named as William M. in the French media, is a gun enthusiast with a history of weapons offences who had been released on bail earlier this month.

The retired train driver was convicted for armed violence in 2016 by a court in the multicultural Seine-Saint-Denis suburb of Paris, but appealed.

Last year, he was charged with racist violence after allegedly stabbing migrants and slashing their tents with a sword in a park in eastern Paris.