BRUSSELS - Three people were killed and another was seriously injured in a shooting Saturday at the Jewish Museum of Belgium in central Brussels, Belgian Interior Minister Joelle Milquet told CNN affiliate Bel RTL.
The circumstances of the shooting have raised suspicions that it may have been an anti-Semitic attack.
Milquet, who was in the area, told CNN affiliate Bel RTL that a person arrived by car at the museum, entered and quickly opened fire before leaving the scene. The injured person was taken to a hospital, Milquet said.
A security perimeter was established around the scene of the shooting in central Brussels, according to Bel RTL. It's not yet clear who the victims were, and the suspected shooter remains at large.
Belgium's Interior Ministry announced that it has raised its terror alert level, CNN affiliate RTL/TVI said Saturday.
Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Didier Reynders, who was also nearby, told CNN affiliate RTL/TVI that he saw the victims inside the museum, then called the emergency services and put witnesses in touch with police.
"It seems that a car was double-parked and that a person went in and came out of the museum quickly after shots were fired," Reynders said.
One witness managed to see the license plate of the vehicle used in the attack, according to Reynders.
"You can't help thinking, when you see a Jewish museum, to think about an anti-Semitic act, but the investigation will tell more," he said.
The person involved in the attack was carrying bags, and police were asked to look inside the museum to ensure that no devices were left behind, Reynders added.
Milquet told Belgian public broadcaster RTBF that the circumstances of the "haphazard" shooting "could give rise to presumptions of an anti-Semitic act."
But she added that the matter was still under investigation.
RTBF quoted Brussels Mayor Yvan Mayeur as saying those killed were two men and a woman, while a man was seriously injured.
'We didn't expect such a terrible act'
Henry Goodman, president of the Jewish Community Center in Brussels, told CNN he was "horrified" by what had happened.
"We didn't expect such a terrible act. Since we don't know who has done it or the reason, we can only imagine that it is an act of pure anti-Semitism," he said.
Goodman drew a parallel with attacks by a gunman in Toulouse, France, two years ago in which a rabbi, three Jewish children and three French paratroopers were killed, saying it "must be the same logic."
He added, "They, whoever they are, are not going to close the community activities. Jewish people know what anti-Semitism means.
"They are not going to silence us. ... We are going to survive and fight."
Reynders earlier said via Twitter that he was "shocked by the murders committed at the Jewish Museum" and that his thoughts were with the victims and their families.
Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo also expressed his shock and condolences via Twitter.
The museum is in central Brussels, not far from other tourist sites.