3 Officers, 1 Admin Employee Killed In Knife Attack At Paris Police Headquarters
Paris, FR – A longtime Paris police employee murdered three Paris police officers and an administrative employee during a knife attack on Thursday.
Three of the victims were male and one was female, Paris prosecutor Remy Heitz said, according to NBC News.
The victims have been identified only as 39-year-old Aurelia T., 38-year-old Brice L., 38-year-old Anthony L., and 50-year-old Damien E., the ACTU reported.
Another individual was also injured in the attack.
“So far, this person seems to be in stable condition,” Minister of the Interior Christophe Castaner said, according to NBC News.
The rampage occurred at Paris Police Headquarters across from the Notre Dame Cathedral at approximately 1 p.m. on Oct. 3, Sky News reported.
The 45-year-old attacker, Michael Harpon, worked for the department’s Information and Technology Division for at least 16 years, Castaner said, according to NBC News.
Police said that Harpon, who could not hear or speak, used a nearly 12-inch ceramic knife to attack three officers on the first floor of police headquarters.
He then went to the stairs, where he attacked a human resources employee and a fourth officer.
After Harpon made his way downstairs, he was confronted by an officer, but refused to drop his blade, NBC News reported.
That’s when the officer shot Harpon in the head, killing him, the Daily Mail reported.
The officer who ended the attack had just joined the police force a week earlier.
French police union spokesperson Christophe Crepin said that the attacker had converted to Islam about 18 months ago, but that investigators had not discovered anything at his residence that indicated he was radicalized or was planning to carry out a terrorist attack, NBC News reported.
Government spokesperson Sibeth Ndiaye said that the possibility of terrorism “has clearly not been ruled out,” according to the Daily Mail.
“But it is important to emphasize – you are not a terrorist because you are Muslim and converting to Islam is not an automatic sign of radicalization,” Ndiaye stressed. “The facts need to be looked at carefully.”
The motive for the rampage remains under investigation.
Harpon’s wife, Iham, was arrested several hours after the attack, the Daily Mail reported.
She allegedly told police that her husband was displaying “unusual and agitated behavior” the night before his rampage, according to the Daily Mail.
She said that he began “hearing voices” and that he ultimately became “incoherent,” police said.
Iham told investigators that Harpon left “abruptly” on Thursday morning.
Sources claimed that Harpon and his supervisor had previously clashed over Harpon’s refusal to interact with women, and that he may have been upset with some of his colleagues, the Daily Mail reported.
But his supervisor was not among the victims, according to the ACTU.
Castaner said that “there were no warning signs” that preceded the murderous rampage and police have not released a motive yet.
“This man was known inside the IT department, he worked alongside his colleagues and never presented any behavioral difficulties,” according to the Daily Mail.
“Paris is mourning his people this afternoon after this appalling attack on the @prefpolice,” Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said in a tweet. “The toll is heavy, several policemen lost their lives. In my name and that of the Parisians, my first thoughts go to the families of the victims and their relatives.”