France: Suspect wanted to kill migrants and commit suicide

PARIS (HPD) — The man suspected of fatally shooting three Kurds in Paris told detectives his intention was to kill migrants or foreigners and then commit suicide, prosecutors said.

The 69-year-old shot dead three people and wounded three others outside a Kurdish cultural center on Friday, before being disarmed and subdued by one of the wounded victims, the Paris prosecutor’s office said on Sunday.

He was arrested at the scene and on Saturday he was transferred to a psychiatric facility. So far his identity has not been released. If released from the psychiatric facility, he could face charges of racially motivated murder, attempted murder and illegal possession of weapons.

The prosecutor’s office said in a statement that the suspect told detectives that a burglary at his home in 2016 was a turning point for him and caused him, according to him, “a hatred of foreigners that became totally pathological.”

The attack in a busy Paris neighborhood has shocked the Kurdish community and sparked fears of hate crimes at a time when far-right groups have risen to prominence in France and across Europe.

The individual told authorities that on Friday morning, he first brought his weapon to the Saint-Denis suburb with the intention of killing foreigners but changed his mind, according to prosecutors. He then went to the Kurdish center in Paris, which is close to where his parents live.

There he opened fire on a woman and two men, entered a Kurdish-owned hair salon across the street and shot three men. One of the men managed to detain him until the police arrived, according to the statement from the prosecutor’s office.

The suspect told authorities that he did not know his victims but that he considered “all non-European foreigners to be his enemies,” according to the statement.

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Zeynep Bilginsoy contributed to this story from Istanbul.

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