By: V4 Agency
The man who attacked a policewoman and fired shots at two other officers at the La Chapelle-sur-Erdre police station near Nantes, western France, is known to have taken part in an anti-police attack in February last year.
A female officer was attacked on Friday by a man at the La Chapelle-sur-Erdre police station near Nantes, west of France, the local gendarmerie reported. The policewoman was seriously injured in the leg and then hospitalised, but her wounds are not life-threatening. Police have deployed numerous units to find the assailant, who fled the scene after grabbing the officer’s gun. He was apprehended early afternoon, following a gunfight.
Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin took to Twitter to announce that the gendarmerie has captured and neutralised the assailant. Mr Darmanin thanked law enforcement authorities for their timely intervention and added, that he would visit the town in the afternoon.
Police said the suspect and the gendarmes had engaged in a gunfight. Two gendarmes suffered minor injuries to their arms and legs, while the alleged assailant is reported to have died of his injuries.
The attack took place at 10 am in an office at the municipal police station, in a town of 20 thousand inhabitants. The assailant, a man in his forties whose identity and motives remain unclear, stabbed the female officer in the leg multiple times, BFM reported, adding that he has been struggling with mental health issues. He was eventually caught near the police station.
According to France Bleu, the three police officers were wounded by a man with a record of radicalisation and with a suspected terrorist background. In other words, he is a Muslim man, officially registered as a suspected terrorist.
The suspect is known to have committed several crimes and has had a number of brushes with law for carrying illegal firearm, CNews writes, adding that he took part in an attack on police last February.
After the attack, the suspect took the policewoman’s gun and fled the scene in a car, which police found later in the area, all crashed up.
A witness claimed to have seen the perpetrator, Ouest France wrote.
“I saw him leaving on foot. He went down to the parking lot. I asked him for help because I had a problem with my scooter, it would not start. He was calm, but when I saw that he was carrying a gun, I got scared. He got into a Golf,” the witness said.
So far the case has stayed below the radar of the anti-terrorism prosecutor’s office, but police have not ruled out any possibility, including a terrorist attack.