12 Dead in Shooting at French Satirical Newspaper

Live updates on this story have concluded in this post. For the latest information, visit TheBlaze’s homepage and follow @TheBlazeNOW on Twitter.

In brief:

• Twelve people killed after masked gunmen attacked offices of French satirical newspaper that’s published mocking cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.
• Witnesses: Attackers yelled “We have avenged the prophet.”
• French president declares it an act of terrorism; U.S. strongly condemns.
• One of three suspects has surrendered to police, according to reports

UPDATE: 9:45 p.m. ET: NBC News has officially walked back their previous report which indicated one of the suspects had been killed and the other two were in custody.

https://twitter.com/CNBCnow/status/553014085072080896/

UPDATE 8:29 p.m. ET: Sources told the Agence France-Presse and ABC News that the youngest of the suspects had surrendered to police.

https://twitter.com/AFP/status/552999382304706561/

https://twitter.com/ABC/status/553001148638957569/

UPDATE 6:35 p.m. ET: Senior U.S. counter-terrorism officials told NBC News one of the suspects has been killed and that the other two are in custody.

https://twitter.com/CNBCnow/status/552971606667325440/

UPDATE 4:50 p.m. ET: French officials identify three suspects in the attack.

https://twitter.com/TheBlazeNOW/status/552943982255550465/

UPDATE 4:44 p.m. ET: Paris deputy mayor spokesman tells CNN that the three suspects have not been arrested.

https://twitter.com/vplus/status/552942914826162176/

UPDATE 4:07 p.m. ET: French newspaper Liberation is reporting that three men have been arrested in the attack.

https://twitter.com/TheBlazeNOW/status/552932482208002049/

UPDATE 12:55 p.m. ET: The Charlie Hebdo website displays the single message “Je suis Charlie” or, “I am Charlie,” which has spread online as a hashtag. The site links to the message in multiple languages.

Image source: Charlie Hebdo
Image source: Charlie Hebdo

UPDATE 12:32 p.m. ET: President Barack Obama called the shootings “cowardly, evil attacks” in comments to reporters.

“France is one of our oldest allies, our strongest allies. They have been with us at every moment when we’ve — from 9/11 on, in dealing with some of the terrorist organizations around the world that threaten us. For us to see the kind of cowardly evil attacks that took place today I think reinforces once again why it’s so important for us to stand in solidarity with them, just as they stand in solidarity with us,” Obama said. “The fact that this was an attack on journalists, attack on our free press, also underscores the degree to which these terrorists fear freedom — of speech and freedom of the press.”

Obama vowed to provide France with “every bit of assistance that we can going forward.”

“We will stand with the people of France through this very, very difficult time,” he said.

UPDATE 11:41 a.m. ET: Photo of Charlie Hebdo editor Stephane Charbonnier, known as Charb, one of the 10 journalists slain:

In this Sept.19, 2012 file photo, Stephane Charbonnier also known as Charb , the publishing director of the satyric weekly Charlie Hebdo, displays the front page of the newspaper as he poses for photographers in Paris. Masked gunmen shouting “Allahu akbar!” stormed the Paris offices of a satirical newspaper Wednesday Jan.7, 2015, killing 12 people including Charb, before escaping. It was France's deadliest terror attack in at least two decades. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, File)
In this Sept. 19, 2012 file photo, Stephane Charbonnier, also known as Charb, the publishing director of the satiric weekly Charlie Hebdo, displays the front page of the newspaper as he poses for photographers in Paris. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, File)

UPDATE 11:02 a.m. ET: Comments from Secretary of State John Kerry —

To the people of France, “each and every American stands with you today, not just in horror or in anger or in outrage of this vicious act of violence, but we stand with you in solidarity and in commitment both to the cause of confronting extremism and … [of] freedom.”

The attackers “may wield weapons, but we in France and the United States, we wield something that is much more powerful … free expression and a free press are core values, they are universal values.”

Kerry said, “I agree with the French imam who called the slain journalists martyrs for liberty.”

“Today’s murders are part of a larger confrontation … between civilization itself, and those who are opposed to a civilized world.”

UPDATE 10:30 A.M. ET:

 

UPDATE 9:51 a.m. EST: Images of grief outside the Charlie Hebdo office:

People hug each other outside the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo's office, in Paris, Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015. (Image source: AP/Remy de la Mauviniere)
People hug each other outside the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo’s office, in Paris, Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015. (Image source: AP/Remy de la Mauviniere)
People stand outside the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo's office after a shooting, in Paris, Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015. (Image source: AP/Remy De La Mauviniere)
People stand outside the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo’s office after a shooting, in Paris, Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015. (Image source: AP/Remy De La Mauviniere)

UPDATE 9:27 a.m. EST: PARIS (AP) – France’s top security official confirms three gunmen carried out deadly attack on French paper.

UPDATE 9:25 a.m. EST: Obama: “I strongly condemn the horrific shooting at the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris.”

Obama statement
Obama statement

UPDATE 9:22 a.m. EST: PARIS (TheBlaze/AP) — Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre, spokeswoman for the Paris prosecutor, confirmed the deaths of the editor and cartoonist who went by the pen names Charb and Cabu.

A police official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation, said two police officers were also among the dead, including one assigned as Charb’s bodyguard after prior death threats against him.

UPDATE 9:01 a.m. EST: PARIS (AP) — Prosecutor says editor, cartoonist of French satirical weekly among dead in attack in Paris.

UPDATE 8:54 a.m. EST: Josh Earnest on CNN: “The United States condemns in the strongest terms this horrific act of violence that we’ve seen.”

Asked directly whether the U.S. considers the attack an act of terrorism, Earnest said, “based on what we know right now, it does seem like that’s what we’re confronting here.”

Earnest added: “If it does turn out to be an act of terrorism we will condemn that in the strongest possible terms, too.”

UPDATE 8:40 a.m. EST:

Armed gunmen face police officers near the offices of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris on January 7, 2015, during an attack on the offices of the newspaper which left 12 dead, including two police officers, according to sources close to the investigation. (Image source: Anne Gelbard/AFP/Getty Images)
Armed gunmen face police officers near the offices of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris on January 7, 2015, during an attack on the offices of the newspaper which left 12 dead, including two police officers, according to sources close to the investigation. (Image source: Anne Gelbard/AFP/Getty Images)
A person holds up the latest issue of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris on January 7, 2015, after gunmen armed with Kalashnikovs and a rocket-launcher opened fire in the offices of the weekly in Paris, killing at least 12. (Image source: AFP PHOTO / BERTRAND GUAY)
A person holds up the latest issue of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris on January 7, 2015, after gunmen armed with Kalashnikovs and a rocket-launcher opened fire in the offices of the weekly in Paris, killing at least 12. (Image source: AFP PHOTO / BERTRAND GUAY)

UPDATE 8:33 a.m. EST: Sky News has redacted video reportedly of gunmen shooting the police officer. Both Fox News and Sky News have played it:

UPDATE 8:21 a.m. EST: Live coverage from Sky News:

UPDATE 8:05 a.m. EST: WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama’s top spokesman says the United States is determined to help the French apprehend those responsible for the attack on a satirical Paris newspaper that left at least 12 people dead.

Press secretary Josh Earnest says U.S. officials have been in close contact with the French after the bloody attack today on the Charlie Hebdo weekly.

Earnest tells CNN the French have been “stalwart allies” in the U.S. fight against Islamic State extremists. The spokesman also says, “We know they are not going to be cowed by this terrible act.”

Earnest also says Washington will work hard to protect Americans at home and abroad.

He says, “We obviously are trying to monitor what we consider to be a very important threat, which is the threat of foreign fighters.”

UPDATE 7:59 a.m. EST: Video reportedly of attack, via FranceTV Info:

UPDATE 7:54 a.m. EST: GRN reporter said gunmen yelled “allahu akbar” and “we are avenging the Prophet”:

UPDATE 7:50 a.m. EST: A still image from the video that reportedly shows the execution:

Video screenshot reportedly of gunmen. (Image source: YouTube/Sky News)
Video screenshot reportedly of gunmen. (Image source: YouTube/Sky News)

UPDATE 7:47 a.m. EST: Video is reportedly surfacing that shows gunmen executing a police officer laying injured on a sidewalk, but it has not been authenticated.

UPDATE 7:37 a.m. EST: PARIS (AP) — Masked gunmen stormed the Paris offices of a satirical newspaper Wednesday, killing 12 people before escaping, in France’s deadliest terror attack in at least two decades.

French President Francois Hollande said the attack on the Charlie Hebdo weekly, which has frequently drawn condemnation from Muslims, is “a terrorist attack, without a doubt,” and said several other attacks have been thwarted in France “in recent weeks.”

France raised its alert to the highest level, and reinforced security at houses of worship, stores, media offices and transportation. Top government officials were holding an emergency meeting.

Paris prosecutor’s spokeswoman Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre confirmed 12 people were killed.

Luc Poignant, an official of the SBP police union, said the attackers escaped in two vehicles. A witness, Benoit Bringer, told the iTele network he saw multiple masked men armed with automatic weapons at the newspaper’s office in central Paris.

The extremist Islamic State group has threatened to attack France, and minutes before the attack Charlie Hebdo had tweeted a satirical cartoon of that extremist group’s leader giving New Year’s wishes. Charlie Hebdo has been repeatedly threatened for publishing caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, among other controversial sketches, and its offices were firebombed in 2011.

The 2011 firebombing came after a spoof issue featuring a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad on its cover. Nearly a year later, the publication again published crude Muhammad caricatures, drawing denunciations around the Muslim world.

Wednesday’s attack comes the same day of the release of a book by a celebrated French novelist depicting France’s election of its first Muslim president. Hollande had been due to meet with the country’s top religious officials later in the day.

UPDATE 7:31 a.m. EST: Gunmen reportedly were heard shouting, “the Prophet has been avenged,” according to the Daily Mail.

Police officers and firemen gather outside the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo's office, in Paris, Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015. Masked gunmen stormed the offices Wednesday, killing at least 12 people before escaping. The weekly has previously drawn condemnation from Muslims. (Image source: AP/Thibault Camus)
Police officers and firemen gather outside the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo’s office, in Paris, Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015. Masked gunmen stormed the offices Wednesday, killing at least 12 people before escaping. The weekly has previously drawn condemnation from Muslims. (Image source: AP/Thibault Camus)

UPDATE 7:27 a.m. EST: France has raised its alert to the highest level, the AP reported.

UPDATE 7:20 a.m. EST: French President Francois Hollande said the deadly attack on a satirical French newspaper is a terrorist attack, the AP reported, and that several other terror attacks have been thwarted “in recent weeks.”

PARIS (AP) — Masked gunmen stormed the offices of a French satirical newspaper Wednesday, killing 11 people before escaping, police and a witness said. The weekly has previously drawn condemnation from Muslims.

Xavier Castaing, head of communications for the Paris police prefecture, confirmed the deaths in the shooting at the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical weekly that been repeatedly threatened for publishing caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, among other controversial sketches.

French President Francois Hollande was headed to the scene, and top government officials planned an emergency meeting.

Luc Poignant, an official of the SBP police union, said the attackers escaped in two vehicles.

A witness to the attack, Benoit Bringer, told the iTele network he saw multiple masked men armed with automatic weapons at the newspaper’s office in central Paris.

Charlie Hebdo’s offices were firebombed in 2011 after a spoof issue featuring a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad on its cover. Nearly a year later, the publication again published crude Muhammad caricatures, drawing denunciations around the Muslim world.

This is breaking news; updates will be added.

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