A man attacked and wounded at least six people Wednesday during morning rush hour at a Paris train station before being shot by off-duty police, officials said.
The attack began about 6:42 a.m. local time at Gare du Nord, French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin told reporters during a press conference. The suspect, he said, was shot by off-duty police officers returning home from a night shift.
Darmanin arrived at the station shortly after the attack. Earlier, he wrote on Twitter that the alleged attacker had injured several people before being “quickly neutralized.”
“Thankful to the police for their effective and courageous response,” Darmanin tweeted.
The suspect attacked several people, including a police officer, with a “bladed weapon” Darmanin said at the scene, flanked by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo. He said the unnamed assailant was currently “between life and death” in a hospital. French media reported that he was shot in the chest.
Several passengers and a border police officer were among the wounded, officials said. The officer was stabbed in the back by the assailant, but a bulletproof vest prevented serious injury, Darmanin said.
Five of the victims sustained light injuries, while one was seriously injured in the shoulder blade and taken for emergency treatment, according to French media.
Officials said a security agent working for rail operator SNCF, France’s national state-owned railway company, was among the officers who shot the suspect.
Darmanin told reporters the man appears to have used a homemade weapon in the attack. Earlier police said the suspect used a knife.
Darmanin said a criminal investigation has been opened in the case. At that same time, the country’s national Anti-Terrorism Prosecutor’s Office said it is “evaluating the facts” about the attack, CNN reported.
No specific motive, including terrorism, has currently been suggested by authorities. France remains jittery following a spate of deadly attacks since 2015.
Gare du Nord, one of the French capital’s busiest commuter stations, is the arrival point of the Eurostar train from London and a major gateway to the north of Europe.
Video of the Gare du Nord showed an eerie calms as dozens of police huddled nearby the Eurostar terminal entrance in areas cordoned off from the public.
The commotion also caused serious disruptions to train services at the station Wednesday morning, SNCF reported.
Contributing: Associated Press
Natalie Neysa Alund covers trending news for USA TODAY. Reach her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @nataliealund.