Thibault Camus / AP
Police officers stand outside Liberation newspaper office in Paris, Monday.
PARIS - A manhunt was underway in the French capital Monday after a gunman opened fire at a bank and a newspaper office - seriously injuring a photographic assistant - before hijacking a car to escape, police said.
The 23-year-old victim, who worked for the Liberation newspaper’s “Next” magazine, was shot in the abdomen and arm.
It followed another shooting on Friday at the Paris offices of news channel, BFMTV.
"As long as this person is still on the loose and we do not know the motives, this represents a threat," Interior Minister Manuel Valls told reporters, according to Reuters. "We must move fast."
The first shooting happened in lobby of the newspaper's officers, in the business district of La Defense, at 10.15 a.m. local time (4.15 a.m. ET) Monday, Liberation said on its website.
Laurent Nunez, director of the cabinet of the Paris Police Prefecture, told BFMTV that three shots were subsequently fired in front of the Société General bank, in west end of the city.
Police then received a report that a driver had been taken hostage by an armed man who fled on foot near the Champs Elysees.
Nanuz said the driver taken hostage is now being questioned for information about the hostage-taker, whose description matched that of the shooting suspect.
News channel I-Tele reported that police were looking for a bald heavy built man, 40-45 years, dressed in khaki, armed and considered very dangerous.
Alastair Jamieson reported from London.
First published November 18 2013, 7:40 AM