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Investigators are continuing their investigations on Saturday to determine the reasons which led a 69-year-old man, already prosecuted for a racist attack, to open fire on Friday in the center of Paris, killing three Kurds and injuring three.
The day after an attack leaving three dead and three injured, including one in absolute emergency in front of a Kurdish cultural center located in the 10th arrondissement of Paris, the investigators continue, Saturday, December 24, their investigations to determine the motive of the alleged perpetrator. .
Aged 69 and of French nationality, this retired train driver has already been convicted twice for prohibited possession of weapons and for violence with weapons, and indicted in another assault case. If the reasons for his act have not yet been clearly established, the racist nature of his gesture does not seem to be in doubt.
His three victims, a woman and two men, shot with a handgun, are of Kurdish origin, authorities and a Kurdish community leader said.
The man “was arrested immediately after the events and placed in police custody,” said Paris prosecutor Laure Beccuau. An investigation was opened for assassination, attempted assassination, intentional violence with weapons and violation of the legislation on weapons. The investigations were entrusted to the judicial police.
The track of a terrorist attack dismissed
In 2017, the man was given a six-month suspended prison sentence for prohibited possession of weapons.
On the other hand, he is unknown to the files of territorial intelligence and the General Directorate of Internal Security (DGSI) and “was not listed as being someone from the ultra-right”, according to Gérald Darmanin.
According to the first elements of the investigation, the motive of racism is one of the avenues explored but must be confirmed in particular by the statements of the suspect during his police custody.
The track of a terrorist attack has been ruled out at this stage of the investigations, according to the prosecutor.
On the morning of the incident, “he didn’t say anything when he left (…) He’s crazy. He’s crazy,” the 90-year-old suspect’s father told AFP, describing him as “silent” and “withdrawn”.
He “wanted to attack strangers” and “obviously acted alone”, estimated Gérald Darmanin, specifying that he frequented a shooting range.
“It is not certain that the killer who wanted to assassinate these people (…) did it specifically for the Kurds”, he underlined, while rumors of a “political” attack were relayed by the Kurdish community.
The “racist motives of the facts” will “obviously be part of the investigations, added Laure Beccuau during a press briefing.
“There is nothing at this stage to accredit any affiliation of this man to an extremist ideological movement,” she said at the end of the day in her press release.
The emotion won over the Kurdish community very present in this district, which evoked a “terrorist” act and blamed Turkey. Violent incidents broke out with the police, and one person was arrested, a police source told AFP.
The prefect of police Laurent Nuñez must receive Saturday morning leaders of the Kurdish community, who have also announced a demonstration at midday in Paris.
With AFP and Reuters