— Allie Fowler (@historynerd94) April 20, 2017
A helicopter could be seen grazing the canopy of central Paris following the shooting incident. It appears the chopper is part of a police operation currently underway.
One shooter has reportedly been killed, while the other is presumably still be at large. The area has been closed to pedestrians and passersby.
In early reports, police indicated the attack was probably an "act of terrorism." However, the French Interior Ministry has said it's too early to say what motivated the attack, and other police sources told Reuters the incident could have been an armed robbery attempt. French police have also said the shooter who was killed was known to them.
Eyewitnesses reported one of the shooters stepped out of a car near a police van and began firing "with a Kalashnikov," hitting a police officer. The deceased officer was standing guard near the Champs-Elysees metro station when one of the attackers took aim.
People in the area have been told to steer clear as a security operation unfolds. The country's Interior Ministry has announced that three metro stations near the area have been closed down for security reasons.
The event occurred just days before French voters head to polling booths in France's first round of presidential elections. Terrorism has been noted as a significant priority for many of the candidates: there have been more than a dozen serious terrorist attacks in the country in the past two years, most recently the attempted shooting last month in Paris's Orly airport.
There were a minimum of two individuals perpetrating the attacks in Paris, according to police reports.
French President Francois Hollande has scheduled an emergency meeting to address the incident, according to reports.