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Suspect in mass shooting in Strasbourg, France, is killed by police

Suspect Cherif Chekatt, 29, had been on the run since the mass shooting Tuesday night that killed three and injured 13 outside Strasbourg's Christmas Market.

The suspect in the Strasbourg shooting that left three dead and 13 injured has been killed by police in that city, French authorities said Thursday.

The announcement of the death of 29-year-old Cherif Chekatt comes after an intense manhunt involving hundreds of officers since the shooting Tuesday night outside the Strasbourg's Christmas market. He had been on the run since the attack near the popular tourist attraction.

France’s interior minister said that at about 9 p.m. local time, a team of police spotted someone who looked like Chekatt near the Rue du Lazaret. They called out to the man and he turned and fired at police.

Police returned fire and killed him, said Interior Minister Christophe Castaner. A spokesperson for the Paris prosecutor said Chekatt was confirmed to be the person killed.

Image: Cherif Chekatt, the suspect in the shooting in Strasbourg, France, on Dec. 11, 2018.
Cherif Chekatt, the suspect in the shooting in Strasbourg, France, on Dec. 11, 2018.Police National

French security forces were trying to catch Chekatt dead or alive, an official said earlier Thursday.

French authorities have said that he had run-ins with police starting at age 10 and his first conviction was at age 13. Chekatt had a lengthy criminal record with 27 offenses and has previously served jail time in France, Germany, and Switzerland.

The terrorist group Islamic State claimed Chekatt was its "soldier," according to security consulting firm and NBC News partner Flashpoint Intelligence, but the group provided no evidence to back up its claim and is known to take credit even when it did not have involvement.

After the attack Tuesday, the government raised the terror alert level nationwide and deployed 1,800 additional soldiers across France to help patrol streets and secure crowded events.

Police had distributed a photo of Chekatt, who was wounded in an exchange of fire with security forces the night of the attack, with the warning: "Individual dangerous, above all do not intervene."

The Christmas market has been closed since the attack. Castaner said France is stronger than those who would attack it, and that the market would probably reopen Friday with a suitable security presence.