Chekatt Chérif, 29, a French man born in Strasbourg, France, is the terror suspect linked to the deadly Tuesday attack which claimed three lives in the Alsace capital. Twelve people were injured in the attack, including six critically.
Around 8 PM local time, Chekatt allegedly opened fire near Place Kleber where people were taking part in a Christmas market. The attack lasted twenty minutes, according to witnesses.
Authorities used cameras and DNA tests to identify the alleged killer who has had many run-ins with the law before the deadly attack including a murder attempt and ties to Islamist radicals.
French President Emmanuel Macron, who has faced many protests in recent weeks, was briefed on the matter. Macron even cut a meeting short to oversee his government’s response to the attack.
The suspect is not in custody and locals have been asked to stay home until further notice. The Bas-Rhin department in the Alsace region is said to be home to ten percent of French nationals with terrorist ties.
Chekatt, who is of Morrocan descent, was able to escape from a police raid on his home Tuesday where grenades were uncovered. He is said to be cornered after getting a taxi to drop him off near Rue d’Epinal.
French authorities have some tough decisions after this attack because, in a few hours, one of Europe’s most famous cities will wake up.
Will they keep the lockdown in place? Will the Yellow Vests (the people behind some of the violent protests and riots in recent weeks) be allowed to continue their activities knowing that they deprive the country of necessary resources to fight terrorism?
Some are already using this attack to score some political points by mocking countries with strict gun control laws and lax immigration policies.
Those with a more centrist view suggest that those problems require nuance.