U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke about the terrorist attack on the Paris offices of satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday, calling it "horrific" and reassuring the people of France that "each and every American stands with you today."
"No country knows better than France that freedom has a price, because France gave birth to democracy itself," Kerry added.
Twelve people were killed in the attack and eight people were injured, France's Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve confirmed. The victims include two police officers; Charlie Hebdo's publisher, Stéphane Charbonnier; and cartoonists Cabu, Georges Wolinski and Bernard Verlhac, who is also known as Tignous.
"[The terrorists] may wield weapons, but we in France and in the United States share a commitment to those who wield something that is far more powerful," Kerry added. "Not just a pen, but a pen that represents an instrument of freedom, not fear."
French President Francois Hollande called the killings "a terrorist attack without a doubt." Witnesses told police that the gunmen shouted, "We have avenged the prophet," according to Agence France-Presse.
"The murderers dared proclaimed Charlie Hebdo is dead," Kerry said. "But make no mistake, they are wrong."
President Barack Obama released a statement Wednesday morning condemning the shooting.
"France is America’s oldest ally, and has stood shoulder to shoulder with the United States in the fight against terrorists who threaten our shared security and the world," Obama said in the statement. "Time and again, the French people have stood up for the universal values that generations of our people have defended. France, and the great city of Paris where this outrageous attack took place, offer the world a timeless example that will endure well beyond the hateful vision of these killers. We are in touch with French officials and I have directed my Administration to provide any assistance needed to help bring these terrorists to justice."
See more updates on the situation in Paris below: