A man, “threatening” and armed with a kitchen knife, was shot dead by police on Wednesday in Marseille, in a commercial area. The preferred track is that of “a suicide by proxy” on the part of an aggressor, at the end, who mentioned Vladimir Putin.
The facts occurred around 1 p.m. in a store in the commercial area of La Valentine (11th arrondissement), in the east of the city, where the police had been called after this fifty-year-old unknown to justice had been spotted. with a butcher’s knife.
The store was then evacuated and a security guard attempted to calm down. But “the man didn’t want to hear anything, retorting + being fed up with this world +, + having made his decision a long time ago and regretting that Putin (Editor’s note: the Russian president) did not do the job +”, said reported the Marseille prosecutor, Dominique Laurens, during a press briefing.
“When they arrived at the store, the police officers ordered the individual to drop his weapon, but he violently rushed at them, pointing the knife in their direction, overturning the shelves as he passed. Two of the three police officers shot him five times with their service weapons,” she continued.
Hit in the shoulder and chest, the man died on the spot despite the intervention of firefighters.
“The hypothesis of a terrorist act has already been ruled out, the man having never sought to claim his action”, added the prosecutor, favoring the track of a “suicide by proxy”: the facts make “really think about that”, “things that happen in the world must have repercussions in the psyche of some”.
If no injuries are to be deplored, a psychological cell has been set up for the customers and employees of this large cultural area, some of whom “have shown great courage” according to Ms. Laurens.
– “Very very great violence” –
Two separate investigations were opened: a first, entrusted to the judicial police, for “attempted homicide on a person holding public authority” on the part of the aggressor; and a second, entrusted to the IGPN, for “voluntary homicide”, in order “to determine the conditions of the shots” in response.
The police force is systematically seized when a policeman uses his service weapon.
Referring to this second procedure, the prosecutor of Marseille considered that “at this stage, and subject to the final result of the investigations, the hypothesis of self-defense can be seriously considered”.
Because the scene, “of a very very great violence”, was filmed entirely by a witness. And “the images already make it possible to confirm the concordant versions of the witnesses and the police officers responsible for the shots”, added Dominique Laurens.
For his part, Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin thanked on Twitter the “brave police officers who neutralized a threatening individual, armed with a knife, in a commercial area in Marseille”.
In early May, police rallies were organized all over France at the call of several unions to protest against the indictment for “intentional homicide” of one of their colleagues, a 24-year-old peacekeeper who had killed two men the previous week in Paris.
The facts took place on the night of April 24 to 25, when a policeman from the City Security Company (CSC), armed with an assault rifle, opened fire on the driver of a car and its passenger who tried to evade a control, on the Pont Neuf, in the heart of the capital.
This qualification of “voluntary homicide” had provoked strong reactions in the profession, which calls in particular for a “presumption of self-defense” for the police.