Attack in Paris: what do we know about the main suspect?

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The tragedy took place shortly before noon. This Friday, December 23, 2022, rue d’Enghien in the 10th arrondissement of Paris, a man opened fire on passers-by. For the time being, the authorities report at least three dead and three injured, including one in “absolute emergency”, according to information relayed by BFMTV. The public prosecutor of Paris, Laure Beccuau, took the floor to deplore the number of victims: “There are three deceased, one person in a state of absolute emergency, two in relative and the respondent also injured, in particular in the face”.

Questioned by the continuous news channel, a witness recounts the facts: “We heard gunshots. We saw people running to the right, to the left. Five-six minutes later, we entered the living room hairdresser (…) There are three wounded in the salon. I was asked to call the fire brigade, I called the fire brigade, the police to say that there are wounded. He fired at the blind”.

The shots hit a Kurdish cultural center, a restaurant and a hairdresser in the capital. The police headquarters recommends avoiding the district, and a medico-psychological emergency unit has been set up in the town hall of the 10th arrondissement. An investigation was opened for assassination, intentional homicides and aggravated violence.

According to a police source from Le Parisien, the man arrested said he did not like “the Kurds” and made incoherent remarks before being taken to the hospital. The suspect, injured, is in relative emergency. Criminal record, age… What do we know about the latter?

Aged 69 and of French nationality, the suspect is already well known to the police. Placed under judicial supervision, he was released from the Health Remand Center (Paris) on December 12, 2022. He did not have the right to leave the territory, nor to carry or possess a weapon.

On the other hand, the sexagenarian is not known to the files of territorial intelligence and the General Directorate of Internal Security (DGSI). The anti-terrorist prosecution awaits the first hearing of the alleged shooter to assess whether the facts are of a terrorist nature or not.

Aggravated violence, intentional homicide… Why was the suspect already known to the police?

In 2016, the suspect had already been arrested for attempted voluntary homicide of a vulnerable person. Three years later, in 2019, the man was arrested for possession of weapons.

In December 2021, the 60-year-old was arrested again for attempted murder and aggravated violence “after attacking a migrant camp with a saber in December 2021”, writes Le Parisien. He would have slashed tents before starting a fight with exiles from Bercy Park. Two people were injured, one seriously.

“The search for antecedents continues”, indicated the public prosecutor of Paris.