'Panique': Paris on Edge With Alleged Attack Suspect on the Loose

by Becky Bratu, Cassandra Vinograd and Sarah Burke /  / Updated 

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Anxiety was in the air in Paris on Sunday, with news that French officials were hunting a "dangerous" suspect linked to the Paris terror attacks fueling new fears in a city already on edge.

Police put out a bulletin saying a search was under way for Salah Abdeslam, 26, who they believe is linked to the spree of attacks that killed 129 dead Friday. Abdeslam is allegedly the brother of another suspect in custody and being questioned — and of one of the deceased attackers.

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The possibility that an accomplice was on the loose came as Paris struggled to come to grips with the wave of terror.

Jitters were palpable in the area around the Bataclan nightclub, the scene of the deadliest violence.

Tracey Friley, who lives in the typically bustling area, said bars and nightlife were quiet overnight.

"Everybody is on edge," she said. "It's to be expected."

Those nerves were brought to the fore shortly after authorities released Abdeslam's image to the public. A crowded but calm gathering at the memorial around Paris's Place de la République quickly devolved into chaos.

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Hundreds of screaming and crying people bolted from the square as rumors of an active shooter spread like wildfire. They flooded into nearby shops, which rushed to lock down their doors and herd people to hiding places, while others banged to be let in as armed police descended and searched the square.

Pictures: Paris Mourns Victims Amid Heightened Security

A similar scene played out near Cathédrale Notre Dame, where rumors of gunfire sent people running through the streets. The upheaval left glasses and plates shattered on the ground in front of cafes.

French police later declared both to be false alarms — simply a "movement panique," or panic.

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