Man shot dead outside Paris police station was unarmed

Suspect's suicide vest was a fake - Paris on edge for anniversary of Charlie Hebdo attack

Newstalk, Barbes, Paris, gendarmes, police, shot, terror, attack, francois hollande, president, charlie hebdo, bataclan, IS, Islamic State, terror

Police officers secure the perimeter near the scene of a fatal shooting which took place at a police station in Barbes, Paris. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

A man who was shot dead outside a police station in Paris was wearing a fake suicide vest.

Police union sources said the man attempted to enter the building with a knife before he was shot by officers, while the Interior Ministry said he may have been wearing an explosives vest.

Two officials have reportedly said the man had wires extending from his clothing and a bomb disposal team was sent to the scene.

Anna Polonyi, an editor with the International New York Times, posted a picture of a bomb disposal robot being used to inspect the man's body.

Two officials have said the explosives vest was fake.

She said the man had been running towards the building when he was shot at around 12pm local time (11am Irish time).

The man was heard shouting "Allahu Akbar" as he approached, the Interior Ministry said.

Pictures posted on social media showed a man in jeans and a grey jacket lying with his arms out at his sides on the pavement, yards from the entrance to the police station.

A Paris police official said the attack was being investigated as a possible terrorist incident.

Another resident in the street told Le Parisien: "I heard three or four gunshots at about midday. I work nights, so that woke me up".

"When I went to the window I saw that there was one person on the ground with blood on his body. Right now there is no-one in the street. All the shops have closed their shutters and everything is locked down".

Residents near the scene in Rue de la Goutte d'Or in the 18th arrondissement were told to shut their windows and keep off their balconies and schools kept pupils indoors as police locked down the area.

Footage showed officers ordering one man to put his hands against a wall before searching him.

The incident happened minutes after French President Francois Hollande paid tribute to police officers killed in the line of duty, including those killed in the Charlie Hebdo attacks exactly one year ago.

Paris correspondent with The Independent, John Lichfield, spoke to Newstalk Lunchtime about today's developments.