PARIS — The gunman purportedly behind a shootout that killed a police officer and wounded two others in Paris has been named as 39-year-old French citizen who lived on the outskirts of the French capital.

Although Karim Cheurfi was known to French authorities he was not on a watch list of people suspected of posing a security risk, a spokesperson for the Paris prosecutor’s office said.

Earlier Friday, interior ministry spokesman Pierre Henry Brandet told radio station France Info that a shotgun and knives had been found in the suspect’s car and that he had a long criminal record.

Three people from the suspect’s family have been taken into custody for questioning, he added.

ISIS reportedly claims responsibility for Paris attack that left 1 officer dead

The attacker ambushed three Parisian police officers on the Champs-Elysees on Thursday, killing one and wounding two others in what the country’s president called a terrorist attack.

The gunman — who ISIS claimed as one of their own — was then fatally shot while trying to flee on foot down the famous boulevard, police said.

John Finney, an American tourist from Kentucky visiting Paris with his family told NBC News that he had been 10 feet away when the shooter opened fire.

“I stopped to buy my wife a rose and I think if I hadn’t done that I wouldn’t be here speaking to you right now,” Finney said. “We saw the shooter get out of the car, he had a gun. To me, it looked like an AR-15 [and] he started popping of rounds.”

Finney added: “It was chaos. People were spreading out, running all over the place, falling down, trampling each other. It was real panic.”

Europe Faces Unique Terror Threat, French PM Says

There were conflicting reports Friday morning of people who had been identified by the Belgian security services as being involved in the attack, and France remained on edge just days before key presidential elections.

French President, Francois Hollande, did not identify the slain suspect. But he was known to French authorities and armed with an AK-47 rifle, two U.S. law enforcement officials briefed on the attack told NBC News earlier. He called the shooting a terrorist attack.

Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve also confirmed Friday after a meeting of France’s National Defense Council that pre-existing arrangements that 50,000 police and 7,000 military personnel would be deployed for security during this weekend’s elections.

Cazeneuve compared the attack to recent incidents in Berlin, Stockholm and London, adding that the whole of Europe was facing a unique terrorist threat.

National security is a burning issue for many in France after attacks by militant Islamists across the country have killed more than 230 people over the past two years.

Image: Police search near the house of the suspected attacker
Police search near the house of the suspected attacker who opened fire on police on Paris’ Champs Elysees. Sarah Brethessarah Brethes / AFP – Getty Images

Presidential candidates Marine Le Pen of the far right Front National party and Francois Fillon of the center right Les Republicans canceled remaining campaign events, the AFP news agency reported.

Reading out a televised statement Friday morning, Le Pen called for the expulsion of foreigners with a security record.

Reuters reported that Fillon said the fight against “Islamist totalitarianism” should be the priority of the next President.

Meanwhile, centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron tweeted that he was ready to deal with the terrorist threat.

U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted early Friday: “Another terrorist attack in Paris. The people of France will not take much more of this. Will have a big effect on presidential election!”