At least three dead in Paris shooting: Gunman already known for two assassination attempts

At least three people were killed in an attack on a Kurdish cultural center in Paris this Friday. The alleged shooter was known to police with a history of hate crimes.

LHe events took place on rue d’Enghien, near a Kurdish cultural center, in a bustling business district particularly popular with the Kurdish community. An investigation has been launched into charges of murder, premeditated murder and aggravated assault. The investigations are currently handed over to the criminal unit of the Paris Judicial Police, we learned from the Paris prosecutor’s office.

The Paris prosecutor’s office said in a provisional report that three people had died and three others had been injured.

A man was arrested and taken into custody shortly after the incident. His motive was not immediately clear. According to two police sources, the 69-year-old man, known for two assassination attempts in 2016 and December 2021, is a retired train driver with French citizenship.

He did not know the files of regional intelligence and Directorate General of Internal Security (DGSI). The mayor of the 10th arrondissement, Alexandra Gardbard, who was at the scene, told reporters that “the killer himself (and) a relative was rushed to the hospital.”

Moving north, Interior Minister Gerald Dorman’s tweet indicated he was returning to Paris “following this morning’s dramatic shooting”. “All my thoughts are with the loved ones of the victims,” ​​he continued. At that point, emotion ran high around the street, which was partially cordoned off by a large police force.

An AFP journalist noted that members of the Ahmed Kaya Cultural Center especially hugged and consoled each other with tears. Some shouted at the police, “It starts again, you are not protecting us, they are killing us.”

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“Total Panic”

An AFP reporter noted that at the intersection of rue d’Enghien and rue d’Hauteville, stretchers were quietly brought to the scene of the shooting and a security perimeter was set up by police. At the time of the attack, Kurdish journalist and activist Selma Akaya told AFP that “six people were injured,” including “a famous Kurdish singer.” The accused fired a shot “in the direction of a hairdressing salon”.

“Seven to eight shots in the street, it was total panic, we were locked inside,” a shopkeeper from a neighboring building who wished to remain anonymous testified to AFP.

“We saw an old white man come and take pictures at the Kurdish Cultural Center, then he went to the hair salon next door”, on the corner of the Cour des Petits Équiries. “We took refuge in the restaurant with the staff,” Romain, deputy director of the Pouliche Paris restaurant down the street, testified by phone.

Rue d’Enghien and the surrounding area have many restaurants, bars and shops and its sidewalks, like the nearby streets, are usually crowded with passers-by. According to another witness, a resident of the neighborhood who was walking down the street, questioned by AFP, “panicked people shouted to the police: + He’s there, he’s there, go ahead + pointing to someone and the hairdresser’s living room”.

“I saw the police enter the living room, where I saw two people on the floor, wounds on their legs, blood,” he added, describing “people in shock and panic.” The Ahmed Kaya Center, named in honor of the famous eponymous singer, is an association under a 1901 law whose mission is to “promote the gradual integration” of the Kurdish population living in Ile-de-France.

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Immigrant Sword Attack

The suspect is “already known to law enforcement officials because he has two priors even as these background searches continue,” he said. These precedents “concern the facts in Seine-Saint-Denis, where he would have recently been tried, convicted, but subsequently appealed by the prosecution”.

The second premise is “linked to the facts that happened at Percy’s side in Paris”. According to the first elements of the investigation, the man is known to have already attacked migrants with a sword in a camp in the 12th arrondissement. The public prosecutor said that a judicial inquiry has been initiated. The man was charged with violence and depravity with a premeditated weapon of a racial nature. He was later remanded in custody.

A police source told AFP at the time that he was suspected of stabbing at least two migrants and damaging several tents at a camp in the Parc de Percy in the 12th arrondissement on the morning of December 8, 2021. Capital.

According to Mrs. Pequa, he was recently released.

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