Two French soldiers patrolling Paris' second-largest airport shot a man dead early Saturday after he tackled their female colleague and tried to take her weapon.
The man wrestled the soldier to the floor at Orly Airport's South Terminal, but she kept a grasp on her weapon, and her two comrades opened fire to defend her and those around them, French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said.
No one aside from the perpetrator was injured in the attack, after which 3,000 people were taken to safety.
"I saw the terrorist and the policeman [sic] on the ground, and we heard shots," Jean-Pierre, a retiree, told dpa. "They told us to evacuate. There was no panic."
France has been on high alert after suffering terrorist attacks in Paris, Nice and elsewhere over the last two years, leaving at least 238 people dead.
Following the coordinated attacks around Paris in November 2015, the French government declared a state of emergency that was extended in December for the fifth time and will remain in force until July 2017.
The state prosecutors office in Paris said its anti-terrorism unit had taken over an investigation of the incident, and news agency AFP reported that French investigators had detained the father and brother of the suspect.
The man, known to police and intelligence officials and identified as a 39-year-old French national by local media, had earlier in the day opened fire on a police officer during an identity check in the northern Paris suburb of Garges-les-Gonesse, Interior Minister Bruno Le Roux.
He later took control of a vehicle in Vitry-sur-Seine and threatened individuals at a bar, Le Roux said.
No explosives had been found on the man, a French Interior Ministry spokesman said.
The atmosphere at the airport was mostly calm following the attack, even as police convoys with wailing sirens moved slowly around the grounds and a fire service helicopter circled overhead.
"We saw the bomb squad arriving, the black vans," Michelle, a pensioner whose son had brought her to the airport for a holiday in Tunisia, told dpa. "It was all blocked, at first we thought there had been an accident."
Air traffic partially resumed at Orly after flights had been suspended or rerouted to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport.
The incident at Orly comes nearly one year after three suicide bombers attacked the Brussels international airport and an underground station in the Belgian capital, leaving 32 people dead.