Paris police killed a knife-wielding man outside a police station in the northern part of the French capital Thursday in what officials say was a possible act of “terrorism.”
According to The Associated Press two officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the shooting happened just after noon local time. The man also reportedly had wires extending from his clothing, in what appeared to be some sort of explosive device.
However, a police source told Reuters the device was fake.
“The man did have a belt, but it was a fake. The bomb-disposal unit confirmed it was a fake,” the news agency quoted the source as saying.
Luc Poignant, a police union official, told The Associated Press the man shouted “Allahu akbar,” Arabic for “God is great,” as he attempted to enter the building.
The shooting reportedly happened just minutes after French President Francois Hollande paid homage to police officers killed in the line of duty, including three police shot to death last January during the Charlie Hebdo attacks.
WATCH: French Minister expresses ‘solidarity’ following attack
According to French media, the Goutte-d’Or neighbourhood, including two schools and nearby subway stations, were in lockdown following the incident.
A Paris police official said officers were investigating the incident at the police station as “more likely terrorism” than a standard criminal act.
According to France 24, Paris prosecutors said a terrorism investigation has been opened. Prosecutors said the attacker was carrying a butcher’s knife and a piece of paper that had the Islamic State flag printed on it and a claim of responsibility for the attack, according to the news outlet.
WATCH: Police secure the area near police station
On Jan. 7, 2015, two French-born brothers killed 11 people inside the Charlie Hebdo offices operated, as well as a Muslim police officer outside. Over the next two days, an accomplice killed another police officer, then stormed a kosher supermarket, killing four hostages. All three gunmen died.’
France has been on high alert ever since, and was struck again on Nov. 13 by Islamic State group extremists who killed 130 people and wounded more than 360 others, in a series of coordinated
–with a files from The Associated Press
© 2016 Shaw Media