Four die in knife attack at Paris police HQ
A knife-wielding administrator attacked staff inside Paris police headquarters today, killing three officers and another administrator before he was fatally shot. Paris prosecutor Remy Heitz said three of the victims were males and one female. While motives of the attacker remain unknown, authorities have opened a murder investigation and momentarily ruled out a terrorism inquiry.
Heitz informed that home of the attacker was being searched and anti-terrorism prosecutors were evaluating the situation. Union official Loic Travers said it appeared the attack began in an office and continued inside the large compound across the street from Notre-dame Cathedral. They said the 20 year police employee said to be responsible for the attack worked in the intelligence unit and had not posed known problems until today.
“As we speak, one colleague is dead following a knife attack. Another colleague is in a state of shock… and the person behind the attack has been shot by another colleague,” Travers said.
Witness Emery Siamandi, who works at the police headquarters said he was in the stairwell leading to the chief’s office when he heard gunshots. He said, “I told myself, ‘This isn’t right’. Moments later, I saw three policewomen crying. I couldn’t help them in any way, and their colleagues were crying, too, so I figured it must be serious.” The attack came a day after thousands of officers marched in Paris to protest low wages, long hours and increasing suicides in their ranks.
French President Emmanuel Macron arrived at the police headquarters to show solidarity and support toward all officers and employees, Macron’s office said.