Police shoot attacker outside Notre Dame in Paris

June 6 (UPI) — Officers shot a man outside the Notre Dame Cathedral, a popular tourist attraction in Paris, after he attempted to attack officers with a hammer Tuesday afternoon, police said.

The unidentified suspect pulled the hammer from his backpack and injured a police officer on duty outside the cathedral, police union spokesman Yves Lefebvre told French news outlet BFM TV.

One of the officers fired two shots, wounding the suspect in the chest. Europe 1 reported the attacker was taken away in an ambulance and his condition wasn’t known. The officer’s injuries also weren’t reported.

“There was a large crowd in line to go into the cathedral and when the shots fired they all started running,” said a woman identified as Abigail M, according to CNN.

“We took cover in a nearby store and they left us there for about 15 minutes before fully clearing the area. I saw emergency services, military personnel and what appeared to be police dressed in bomb squad gear.”

Kyle Riches, from San Francisco, was walking with his wife through the plaza outside the cathedral when they heard gunshots.

“My wife and I ran. We were trying to figure out what was going on,” he said. “We saw SWAT teams coming in to clear the area and started running.”

At least 1,000 people were told to remain inside the cathedral.

One hour later, police said the public would be “gradually allowed to go out, after the usual checks.”

Police then announced on Twitter the situation was “under control.”

The Paris prosecutor’s office said it had opened an anti-terror probe into the incident.

Since militants killed 130 people in 2015 in Paris, the country has been in a state of emergency.

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