A ‘known radical” suspected of carrying out a knife attack in France died from injuries sustained in a shootout with police Friday, hours badly wounding a female officer in another act of violence against police.
The man, who was on a terrorist watch-list according to the interior ministry, had been on the run after the attack in La Chapelle-sur-Erdre near the western city of Nantes.
A total of 250 officers were trying to find him, and two gendarmes were wounded in the exchange of fire that resulted in his arrest, authorities said.
No motive for the stabbing has emerged, but the attacker was “a known radical and suffering from a very serious psychiatric illness”, one source involved in the investigation said.
After stabbing the officer at a police station, inflicting life-threatening injuries, the suspect stole her service weapon and fled on foot.
He then broke into the flat of a young woman, holding her there, and it was from there he fired on the gendarmes, prosecutor Pierre Sennes said.
The police officer he had stabbed was taken to hospital and later declared to be out of danger.
Prosecutors have opened an investigation into the attempted murder of the police officer and the gendarmes, and for the sequestration of the young woman.
“My first thoughts go to the police officer who was seriously wounded,” Prime Minister Jean Castex wrote on Twitter.
“She has all my support and… the support of the entire government.”