It was a free-fire zone in the middle of the busy Champs-Elysees in Paris. With the sidewalk filled with tourists Thursday night a man with an AK-47 got out of his car and shot up a van full of police killing one and injuring two.
Then he fled and eyewitnesses tell Fox News round after round were fired at him by police, bringing him down and killing him.
Bullet holes from the shoot-out can be seen in the trees around the scene.
The high caliber bullets also left jagged holes in the plate glass windows behind. The sidewalk in the area at the time was busy with at least a hundred people who were sent scurrying by the attack.
Amazing that more people weren't hurt. An American family from Kentucky was just ten feet from the shooter. The relatives said they looked him in the eyes. They saw him wave his weapon around and saw the policeman “go down.” As bullets rained... they rain.
Now the remembrances pile high. Flowers, French flags, warm memorials, and a striking memorial from New York police to the killed police officer. New York’s finest sending a message to the “Finest" of Paris, bringing to mind trans-Atlantic tributes on 9/11.
All of this happens on the eve of the first round of Presidential elections here. Analysts tell us the attack could re-focus minds on security and the issue of terror so plaguing France right now. It could tilt the balance in favor of those on the right pushing a harder line. At the very least some think turnout, which was expected to be low, could be strengthened. As France shows, it wont be cowed by the terrorists.
Greg Palkot currently serves as a London-based senior foreign affairs correspondent for Fox News Channel (FNC). He joined the network in 1998 as a correspondent. Follow him on Twitter@GregPalkot.