PARIS – A French policeman was shot dead and two others were wounded in central Paris on Thursday night, in an attack that jolted the country days before presidential elections.

According to police, a lone gunman opened fire on police on the Champs-Elysees shopping boulevard before being killed as he tried to fled the scene.

“A little after 9 PM a vehicle stopped alongside a police car which was parked. Immediately a man got out and fired on the police vehicle, mortally wounding a police officer,” Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said.

The injured were shifted to a local hospital and interior ministry lauded security officials who with their reflex action staved off a major terror bid.

“The sense of duty of our policemen tonight averted a massacre … they prevented a bloodbath on the Champs Elysees,” Interior Minister Matthias Fekl told reporters.

President Francois Hollande said that he was convinced the attack was “terrorist-related”.

Media reports suggest that Daish (ISIS) has claimed responsibility for the deadly attack and French authorities have identified the attacker.

Soon after the attack, authorities cleared the area however, the tourists and citizens avoided visiting one of the busiest streets of the city.