(CN) — Paris prosecutors confirmed Thursday night that a shootout with police in Strasbourg ended in the death of the suspect who opened fire two days earlier near a world-famous famous Christmas market, killing three.
The shooting in Neudorf, south of the eastern French city's center, occurred in the same neighborhood police searched earlier today for Cherif Chekatt, 29, whom investigators named early on as the suspected Christmas market gunman. After the carnage Tuesday, a taxi driver told police he dropped Chekatt off in Neudorf.
Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said from Strasbourg this evening that Chekatt was killed after police spotted an individual who matched his description.
"The moment they tried to arrest him, he turned around and opened fire," Castaner said. "They replied," killing the man.
After Chekatt was killed, police recovered a pistol and a knife from his body.
Chekatt was born in Strasbourg, had a long criminal record and appeared on a watch list of potential extremists. His run-ins with police began at age 10, and his first of what would be 27 lifetime convictions occurred at age 13.
While most of the convictions occurred in France, others were in Switzerland and Germany.
Paris prosecutors revealed earlier today that five people have been arrested so far in connection to the investigation of the Christmas market shooting, which left 13 people injured.
Along with both of Chekatt's parents and two of his brothers, the fifth arrested individual was described as a a nonfamily member who was part of Chekatt’s “entourage."
Government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux told CNews television that the manhunt for Chekatt has involved more than 700 officers.
Chekatt allegedly shouted "God is great!" in Arabic and before opening fire Tuesday. Strasbourg is home to the European Court of Human Rights, and its Christmas market is considered one of the most famous in Europe.
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