An administrative staff police officer at a police station in Rambolouillet, southeast of Paris, France, was killed in a knife attack.
The unarmed 48-year-old woman, who has not been named, was stabbed in the neck.
The 36-year-old attacker, who reportedly traveled to France from Tunisia a few years ago, was shot and later died in hospital. Counterterrorism prosecutors took over the investigation and the incident is being treated as a possible terrorist attack.
The attack reportedly took place at the entrance to the police station as the victim returned from lunch break.
Witnesses described the assailant walking outside the police station, talking on his mobile phone for a while, and trying to get inside as the attack victim passed through secure doors.
It was recorded that he later attacked the officer and that other police officers opened fire.
Prime Minister Jean Castex and Interior Minister Gerald Darman visit the scene
“The Republic lost one of its heroes in a barbaric attack that knows no bounds in cowardice,” Castex said in a message on Twitter.
Authorities said the attacker was not recognized by the intelligence services.
Five years ago in the same area, two police officers were stabbed to death in their home, and a teacher was beheaded next to his school in Conflans Saint-Honorine, northwest of Paris.
In 2019, three officers were killed in the attack on the police headquarters in Paris.