Paris (CNN)A Greek Orthodox priest who was closing a church in Lyon, France, was shot Saturday by a lone assailant using a sawed-off shotgun, the France National Police said.
Greek Orthodox priest shot with sawed-off shotgun outside a church in Lyon, France
The 52-year-old priest was shot in the stomach and his condition is considered life-threatening, according to police and the Lyon prosecutor's office.
The assailant fled after the shooting and remains at large. A police spokesperson said the shooter was dressed a long black coat and a black beanie, and seemed to be hiding the shotgun under his coat.
Residents of the neighborhood and a municipal police patrol reported hearing two shots near the Hellenic Orthodox church in Lyon's 7th district on Saturday, the Lyon prosecutor's office said in a statement.
They saw a person running and later found the wounded priest at the back door of the church, prosecutors said.
A motive for the attack motive remains unknown, according to the statement.
The Lyon public prosecutor's office has opened an investigation on charges of attempted murder and are coordinating with the national anti-terror prosecutor's office, according to the statement.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex told reporters that a "serious incident" had occurred but that "we don't have precise elements yet." Castex also said a "crisis center" would be activated.
France's Interior Ministry tweeted that a serious securi