(CNN) – A man armed with a knife attacked officers inside the police headquarters in Paris, a police source told CNN.
At least four people died in the attack, according to the secretary of the French police union. The attacker was shot down.
Loïc Travers, secretary of the National Police Alliance for the Ile-de-France region, also told BFMTV, a CNN affiliate, that the attacker "has been with us for more than 20 years."RELATED
The attacker was an administrative officer employed by the police, according to the same source. The motive of the assailant is not yet known.
The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, confirmed that "several police officers" lost their lives in Thursday's attack on the city police headquarters, adding that their thoughts were with their families.
“Paris cries to his people this afternoon after this terrible attack on the @prefpolice. Strong casualties, several police officers lost their lives. In my name and that of Parisians, my first thoughts are directed at the families of the victims and their loved ones, ”Hidalgo said on Twitter.
“During the Council of Paris, we will pay tribute to the victims and salute the unwavering commitment of the police forces in the service of Parisian security. We know what we owe them. "
Paris pleure les siens cet après-midi après cette effroyable attaque survenue à la @prefpolice. Le bilan est lourd, plusieurs policiers ont perdu la vie. In mon nom et celui des Parisiens, month premières pensées vont aux familles des victimes et à leurs proches.
– Anne Hidalgo (@Anne_Hidalgo) October 3, 2019
The president of France, Emmanuel Macron, arrived at the scene of the attack at the police headquarters in Paris.
The Elysee Palace said in a statement: “The president of the Republic went to the police station to show his support and solidarity to all staff. He is accompanied by Prime Minister and Interior Minister Christophe Castaner and Laurent Nunez. "
The nearby roads were blocked when emergency officials responded to the police headquarters in Paris, where an individual launched a knife attack on agents on Thursday.
Île de la Cité, an island in the Seine in the center of Paris, is enclosed after the attack.
All roads to Île de la Cité have been cordoned off by the police. Firefighters and ambulances are on the scene.
The Cité metro station in Paris closed Thursday afternoon as a security measure, the French metro agency said on Twitter.
The station is on the Île de la Cité, where the police headquarters and the Notre Dame Cathedral are located.
A policeman outside the perimeter told CNN: "Île de la Cité is now a real island, nobody can leave."
Security agents, police, firefighters and other first responders make presence in Île de la Cité, the island in the center of Paris, where the police headquarters was attacked.