Half of the injured were in “absolute emergency” critical condition. Mayor Roland Ries told media the gunman got inside a security zone to stage the attack.The incident is being treated as an act of “terror,” police and government officials said. The country increased the security alert level hours after the attack occurred. Prosecutors say the 29 year old shooter has been identified but remains at large after authorities went to his house and failed to find him but found explosive materials. He has a criminal record and has been linked to radicalism. The suspect was shot and wounded by soldiers standing guard over the Christmas market.
Soldiers yelled for people to stay indoors and told those outside to go home. Some 350 security forces and two helicopters were involved in the search for the assailant. The European Parliament was locked down after the shooting but the legislative sessions will continue for the rest of the week. Strasbourg’s well-known market is set up around the city’s cathedral during the Christmas period and becomes a popular gathering place. “We will also reinforce security at all Christmas markets to prevent copycat attacks,” Interior Minister Christophe Castaner declared.