PARIS (AP) — An unidentified assailant stabbed a police officer at her station Friday in western France then shot two other officers before being killed in a shootout with police, authorities said. The motive for the violence is unclear.
The slain suspect’s identity is being verified, France’s national gendarme service told The Associated Press.
The three officers were wounded but none is in life-threatening condition, the gendarmes said.
After stabbing the first police officer in her station in the Nantes suburb of La Chapelle-sur-Erdre, the assailant took her gun and fled, according to the gendarme service.
French police deployed helicopters, search dogs and more than 200 officers to find the suspect, and closed nearby schools and stores. When he was located, he fired on officers trying to arrest him, the gendarme service said.
He was gravely wounded in an ensuing shootout, and died Friday afternoon of his injuries, according to a police official. The official was not authorized to be publicly named.
Police and ambulances blocked roads in the normally quiet, residential area after the stabbing.
Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin and the Nantes prosecutor headed to the scene of the attack. Domestic security and attacks on police are a big political issue ahead of regional elections next month and France’s presidential election next year.
Two police employees have been killed in France in recent weeks. One was an administrative official stabbed to death inside her police station near Paris in what authorities are investigating as an Islamic extremist attack. The other was a drug squad officer shot to death in the southern city of Avignon.
The Associated Press