- The attack comes a day after police went on strike across France over escalating violence against police officers.
- "He worked with these colleagues and had never shown any behavioral difficulties or anything to raise an alarm."
- There has been an upsurge of violence in France over the last few months.
Four people are dead after an employee at police headquarters in Paris stabbed his colleagues Thursday. The attacker was later killed by police. His name has not been released and there is no official statement about the incident yet. Meanwhile, the Ila de la Cite area, situated in central Paris, is under siege by the police.
The attack comes a day after police went on strike across France over escalating violence against police officers. The attack happened at 13:00 local time. After the attack, President Emmanuel Macron, Prime Minister Édouard Philippe, and Interior Minister Christophe Castaner visited the scene. Castaner, said of the attacker, “he worked with these colleagues and had never shown any behavioral difficulties or anything to raise an alarm. Our thoughts are with their families and of those who were injured … the news regarding the injured is reassuring. The inquiry has started. I am thinking of the police here and around France. Everyone is shocked and profoundly hurt by what has happened here.”
The attacker used to work in the police department itself. Confirming this, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo wrote on Twitter that several people died in the attack near major tourist destinations, including Notre Dame Cathedral. According to French broadcaster BFM TV, three men and a woman have died in the attack. Apart from this, there is news of another person being injured. According to French media, the attacker was 45 years old and had been serving in an administrative position in the Paris Police Force for 20 years.
Accordingly, this man worked in the intelligence department of the police force. According to the report of BFM TV, the attacker stabbed two people inside the office, one on the stairs and the fourth one in the compound of the building. There, the attacker was shot by the police. Public prosecutor, Remy Heitz said that “searches are currently taking place at the suspect’s home and other investigations will be taking place in the next few hours.”
What did eyewitnesses say?
An eyewitness, Emery Siamandi, who according to him was present in the compound of police headquarters at the time of the attack, told a Paris newspaper that the police were running around in panic. “I was on the stairs when I heard shots and thought it was not normal. After I saw three police officers crying and other colleagues crying. At first I thought a police officer had killed himself; afterward, I learned someone had killed the officers. The officer who killed the man was crying.”
Significantly, during the last few months in France, there have been many incidents of attacks and violence. In September, a 37-year-old man killed his 27-year-old partner in front of his three children. At the same time, in August, a person was killed in a similar attack in the city of Lyon, while nine people were injured.