Three dead in Paris shootings outside a Kurdish cultural center in the 10th district
Steph Deschamps / December 24, 2022
Shortly before noon on Friday, on rue d'Enghien, in the 10th arrondissement of the capital, the suspect, a retired train driver of French nationality, fired his weapon several times.
Three people died (a woman and two men), one man was seriously injured and two men less seriously, according to the latest report.
According to Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, who visited the scene in the afternoon, two people were killed in front of the Ahmet-Kaya Kurdish cultural center and the third in a nearby restaurant.
No details were leaked about the profile of the victims, who were "not known to French services", according to the minister.
The man "was arrested immediately after the events and placed in custody," said the prosecutor of Paris Laure Beccuau. An investigation was opened for murder, attempted murder, violence with weapons and violation of the laws on weapons.
The investigations have been entrusted to the judicial police.
The presumed shooter, slightly injured in the face during his arrest, is known to the justice system.
He was sentenced last June to twelve months imprisonment for violence with weapons committed in 2016, a conviction which he has appealed.
This man was also indicted in December 2021 for violence with weapons, with premeditation and racist character, and damage for acts committed on December 8, 2021. In this second case, he is suspected of having wounded migrants in a camp in the 12th arrondissement with a knife and of having torn their tents, a police source reported at the time.
After a year in pre-trial detention, he was released on December 12, as required by law, and placed under judicial supervision, the prosecutor said.
- Racist motive? -
In 2017, the man had been sentenced to six months in prison suspended for prohibited possession of weapons.
he is, however, unknown in the files of territorial intelligence and the Directorate General of Internal Security (DGSI) and "was not registered as 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 tracks explored but must be confirmed by the statements of the suspect in police custody.
The track of a terrorist attack has, it, been ruled out at this stage of investigations, according to the prosecutor.
The morning of the facts, "he said nothing when leaving (...) He is crazy. He is crazy," the 90-year-old suspect's father told AFP, describing him as "quiet" and « withdrawn.
He "wanted to attack foreigners" and "obviously acted alone," Darmanin said, noting 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 stressed, 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.
"Nothing at this stage allows to accredit any affiliation of this man to an extremist ideological movement," she said at the end of the day in her statement.
The Kurdish community, which is very present in the area, was very moved and spoke of a "terrorist" act and implicated 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 mid-day in Paris.