The victim was sitting down to dinner at the ‘Cheval d’Or’ on rue des Panoyeaux on Monday night when an armed assailant burst into the Chinese restaurant at around 10.30pm French time.
To the horror of 20 or so fellow diners, the gunman opened fire, shooting his target three times as he ate, before fleeing the establishment, in the 20th arrondissement of Paris, in a Renault Mégane.
Emergency services were immediately called to the scene of the crime, but were unable to revive the 38-year-old victim, who was having a heart attack when they arrived.
The perpetrator’s vehicle was later found burnt-out in the Parisian suburb of Seine Saint-Denis.
According to police sources cited by French television TF1, the Algerian-born victim was well-known to police for his alleged involvement in acts of violence, extortion, and drug trafficking.
For this reason, investigators’ chief line of inquiry is into the possibility of gangland revenge as a motive for the killing.