The gunman, identified as 39-year-old Karim C - who was jailed for 20 years for trying to kill officers in 2001 was said to have parked his Audi , walked up to police in a van an opened fire after police stopped at a red light on the world famous avenue, Champs Elysees.
Officers have been searching the home of the alleged shooter - who was known to security services and had been flagged as an 'extremist' - in east Paris.
Karim C, who used the alias 'Abu Yousuf the Belgian' had reportedly made several threats to kill police using the social media app Telegram, an instant messaging service.
The latest attack in the heart of Paris so close to an election could send voters flocking to far-right leader Marine Le Pen on Sunday. The National Front leader Thursday evening said the terror threat facing France stemmed from 'laxity', and within minutes of the attack tweeted her solidarity with security forces.