Strasbourg Christmas market shooter dead after shootout with police

French police shot and killed Cherif Chekatt Thursday, the man responsible for the Christmas market shooting in Strasbourg. Police put out this tweet which reads “End of the hunt.” The message in red reads, “The assailant in the deadly attack in Strasbourg has been neutralized.”

According to the Associated Press, the prosecutor in charge of the case was heading to the scene to verify the body belonged to Chekatt. There’s also a brief description of how the shooting took place:

Christophe Castaner said from Strasbourg late Thursday that police spotted an individual who matched the description of 29-year-old Cherif Chekatt. He has been the focus of a massive manhunt since Tuesday’s attack.

Castaner says the moment they tried to arrest the man they spotted in the Neudorf neighborhood, he started shooting. The minister says police returned fire, killing the man.

Neudorf is where the suspect last was seen after the Tuesday attack that killed three people…

An unnamed official also told the AP the man police shot “was armed with a pistol and a knife.” Those are the same weapons Chekatt was armed with during the attack so it’s looking like they got their man.

After the attack, Chekatt hijacked a cab and was dropped off in the Neudorf area. The driver told police that Chekatt had bragged of killing 10 people (he was wrong, thankfully) and of being wounded in a shootout with police. Last night there were reports in French media that Chekatt also told the driver the attack was meant to “avenge” his “brothers killed in Syria.” And if you’re wondering why the cab driver lived, he professed to Chekatt that he was a practicing Muslim.

ISIS had been celebrating the attack online but hadn’t claimed responsibility for the attack. However, shortly after police announced Chekatt had been killed, ISIS’ news agency called him a “soldier.”

NY Times’ Rukmini Callimachi says the language used in the claim means this was an “inspired” attack, not one directed by ISIS.

So it’s entirely possible Chekatt had minimal or even zero contact with ISIS, however, the group clearly believes he was responding to their call for attacks connected to the Christmas season. Callimachi points out that some of the most deadly attacks in recent years have been of this type, including the attack in Nice, France using a truck in 2016.

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David Strom 4:01 PM on October 05, 2022