Four people are dead after a mass shooting near a famous Christmas market in the French city of Strasbourg, as it was revealed police were going to arrest the gunman only hours before the attack.
A widescale manhunt is currently underway in the area, which has been locked down after the attack at 7pm local time (5am AEDT).
On-duty soldiers exchanged fire with the gunman and injured him, but could not stop him escaping.
“There were gun shots and people running everywhere,” one local shopkeeper told local media station BFM TV.
“It lasted about 10 minutes.”