A man armed with a kitchen knife was shot dead by police on Wednesday afternoon in a commercial area of Marseille. A case that has led to the opening of two investigations, including one for “voluntary manslaughter” by the IGPN, the police force.
The incident took place at around 1pm in a shop in the La Valentine shopping area (11th arrondissement), east of the city, where police were called after the man was spotted knife. He “rushed to the police” and was deemed “threatening enough” by police to use their service weapon, a police source told AFP.
The individual was walking “with threatening behavior” and the police ordered him to “drop his weapon several times”, said the prosecutor of the Republic of Marseille, Dominique Laurens, in a brief statement, before a press release announced in late in the afternoon, but he “refused to comply and rushed towards the police, who then used their weapons twice,” the magistrate added.
No one was injured, other than the perpetrator of the attack, who died quickly as a result of his injuries despite the intervention of firefighters. The assailant, who is said to be in his fifties, is being identified. “No radicalization was found on the spot by witnesses,” a source close to the investigation said, and the terrorist trail was not mentioned at all at this time.
Two open investigations
Two separate investigations were immediately opened to determine the exact circumstances of the events, said the Marseille prosecutor: a first, entrusted to the judicial police, for “attempted murder of a person in charge of the public authority”, by of the aggressor; and a second, entrusted to the IGPN, for “voluntary manslaughter,” in order to “determine the conditions of the shootings” emanating from law enforcement. The police force is systematically seized when a police officer uses his service weapon.
According to a source close to the investigation, the facts were filmed through a video camera, which certifies the state of legal protection of the police.
Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin succeeded very quickly on Twitter, thanking the “brave police officers who neutralized a threatening individual with a knife in a shopping area in Marseille.” A device d’aide psychologique was set up by the police prefecture to testify on the spot.