Gunman shoots dead two at point-blank range in Paris bar

PUBLISHED : Monday, 23 December, 2013, 11:14pm
UPDATED : Monday, 23 December, 2013, 11:14pm


A man and a woman have been killed in a mystery shooting at a Paris bar.

They were shot at point-blank range on Sunday evening with one bullet each as they drank in the outside terrace of the bar in a residential part of the French capital's southern 14th district.

They tried to take refuge inside, but the man died at the scene and the woman died on the way to hospital, said police investigator Jean-Jacques Herlem. The gunman fled on foot.

Herlem called the shooting "mysterious" and said police did not yet know the motive.

"All hypotheses are obviously open. The investigation has just started," said a source close to the probe. The identities of the victims were not immediately given. The police crimes squad was handling the investigation.

There was a heavy police presence at the bar where the shooting took place, the Cafe Chineur.

"I saw a trail of blood that went from the entrance to the inside of the cafe," said one witness named Damien, who lives across the street.

A leading candidate for Paris mayor who lives nearby, Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, went to the scene after learning of the shooting from friends.

"My children go to two schools in the neighbourhood. I'm shocked," said Kosciusko-Morizet, who is running on the ticket of the centre-right Union for a Popular Movement party in polls set for March.

"It's impossible not to make the connection with the growing concerns over security issues, even if we don't know anything at this stage," she said. France occasionally sees deadly score-settling by armed criminals in bars, most often in southern cities such as Marseille, but sometimes also in Paris.

But the attacks are usually carried out in places well away from the heavily policed centre favoured by tourists.

Deadly disputes sometimes also erupt between couples, though not often involving guns.