PARIS, France – At least four police officers are dead along with their attacker after a knife-wielding employee went on a rampage inside the Paris police headquarters on Thursday, according to the Guardian.
The attacks began when a male employee of the Paris police reportedly stabbed a colleague with a ceramic knife inside of his office early Thursday afternoon.
After the initial assault, the suspect turned the knife on three others as he ran through the building, including at least one woman, police said. The last attack occurred in the courtyard outside of the building. An officer, who was also severely injured in the brutal onslaught, drew and fired his weapon, killing the suspect. Witnesses said they could see him crying after he was forced to shoot his colleague.
A French police union official says four police officers have died in a knife attack carried out by an administrator at the Paris police headquarters. The attacker was shot to death. https://t.co/1nkPLt4VMW
— The Associated Press (@AP) October 3, 2019
According to reports, there has not yet been a motive released for the horrific slayings, but the now deceased suspect was described by others as an “ordinary administrator” who had worked at the Île de la Cité for the last 20 years. Sources close to the investigation said that the employee had security clearance, and they can’t understand what might have happened to cause the law enforcement employee to snap and go after his co-workers in such a brutal manner.
A union official spoke about the attack.
“The four victims were police officers,” said Loic Travers. “There is a chaotic atmosphere in the prefecture … obviously it’s shocking. The colleagues who saw what happened will be marked by this for the rest of their careers.”
At least 4 police officers were killed in Paris after a knife attack at police headquarters, say officials. The attacker, who worked in the building, was shot dead.
The motive is not known. pic.twitter.com/N4xAQ04JIg
— AJ+ (@ajplus) October 3, 2019
Emery Siamandi described the moments she heard gunfire come from outside the building.
“I was on the stairs when I heard shots and thought it was not normal. After, I saw three police officers crying and other colleagues crying. At first I thought a police officer had killed himself; afterwards I learned someone had killed the officers. The officer who killed the man was crying.”
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The Paris police headquarters is located right near the Notre Dame Cathedral. The Guardian noted that the scene was visited by the French president, Emmanuel Macron, the interior minister, Christophe Castaner, and the prime minister, Édouard Philippe.
On Wednesday, thousands of police officers took to the streets to march in protest of low pay, unfair work conditions and a rise of officer suicide within their profession. One day after, we learned of the news of these horrific attacks.
▶️ Thousands of police officers marched through the streets of Paris on Wednesday to protest low wages, long hours and increasing suicides in their ranks. (AP) pic.twitter.com/iZNulBZcEU
— The Voice of America (@VOANews) October 2, 2019
Officials do not believe that the attack was motivated by a terror plot, but French media outlets have speculated that it may have stemmed from personal reasons. French police have been the target of extremist attacks multiple times in the last few years, with officers being targeted and gunned down by suspected terrorists.
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This story is continuing to develop. Law Enforcement Today will continue to bring you updates as more information is passed along to the public.