Gunman on loose, Paris police sent to national papers

Posted at 8:36 AM, Nov 18, 2013
and last updated 2013-11-18 10:49:03-05

(CNN) — A man armed with a shotgun walked into the lobby of the French daily Liberation in Paris and fired twice Monday, the newspaper said.

A 27-year-old photographer’s assistant was shot in the chest and was in serious condition, authorities said.

Paris police had no information about the man’s motive. He fled after the attack.

Later, a man opened fire in front of Societe Generale towers in Paris, the international bank said on Twitter.

There were no injuries, and police are investigating, the bank said.

A man told police he was carjacked in the neighborhood of La Defense. The bank’s towers are in the same neighborhood.

The man said he dropped the assailant off near the Champs-Elysee, the city’s main street, according to police.

The descriptions of the men in the two cases are similar, and the guns used were of similar caliber, police said. But it has not been established that it was the same man.

‘A fundamental freedom critically injured’

Police are being sent to the offices of all national French newspapers, Interior Minister Manuel Valls announced.

“We will do everything in our power to catch this individual,” Valls said. “In our country, we cannot accept those who attack our fundamental rights, a right that women and men have always fought for all over the world. Lives have been lost over this right.”

There had been no recent threats against the paper, and security was not high, managing editor Fabrice Rousselot told CNN affiliate BFMTV.

“Liberation is not and never has been a bunker. Liberation is a place of freedom,” publisher Nicolas Demorand said. “We do not want to work behind bulletproof glass. We do not want to work behind iron curtains. …

“We don’t know the motivation, whether this was an act by a madman, but we can see today that a fundamental freedom has been critically injured.”

On Friday, a gunman broke into BFMTV, threatening journalists before fleeing.

Authorities do not think the two incidents are linked.

CNN’s Josh Levs contributed to this report.

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