A French man suspected of killing three in a ‘racist’ attack at a Kurdish cultural center in Paris has been transferred to a psychiatric unit, prosecutors said as police and demonstrators clashed in the French capital. said the official.
A 69-year-old white suspect was removed from custody on Saturday for health reasons and taken to a police psychiatric facility, prosecutors said.
Shots at the cultural center and a nearby hair salon on Friday caused panic in the city’s bustling 10th district, home to several shops and restaurants and a large Kurdish population.
Three other people were injured in the attack, which the suspect attributed to investigators because he was a “racist,” according to a source close to the incident.
A Paris public prosecutor said doctors examined the suspect’s health on Saturday afternoon and determined he was “not fit for the measure of detention”.
The man’s custody was released and he was taken to a police psychiatric unit where he is being held until he appears before an investigating judge as the investigation continues, prosecutors added.
The shootings relive the trauma of three unsolved Kurdish killings in 2013 that many blamed on Turkey.
Many in the Kurdish community have expressed outrage, saying French security officials did little to prevent the shootings.
Frustration boiled over on Saturday, when enraged demonstrators clashed with police in central Paris on the second day following a mourning rally.
The capital’s police chief Laurent Nunez told the BFM television channel that 31 police officers and one protester had been injured in the riots and 11 people had been arrested “mainly for injuries”.
Earlier Saturday, Paris prosecutors extended the suspect’s detention by 24 hours and pleaded guilty to additional charges for acting with “racist motives.”
He was already in custody on charges of murder, attempted murder, armed violence and weapons law violations.
French President Emmanuel Macron said French Kurds were “targets of nasty attacks” and ordered Nunez to meet with Kurdish community leaders on Saturday.
– racist violence –
The suspect, who has a history of racist violence, initially targeted a Kurdish cultural center before entering a hair salon where he was arrested.
He was found in a case containing a box containing at least 25 cartridges and “a few loaded magazines,” according to a source familiar with the incident.
The weapon was a “commonly used” US Army Colt 1911 pistol.
Of the three injured, one was in intensive care at the hospital and two were being treated for serious injuries.
The dead included one woman and two men, according to France’s Kurdistan Democratic Council (CDK-F).
Emine Kara was the leader of the Kurdish women’s movement in France, said Ajit Porat, a spokesman for the organization. Her application for political asylum in France was denied.
According to CDK-F, other victims were Abdulrahman Kizil and Mir Perwer, a political refugee and artist.
Police sources confirmed Kara and Kizil were among the victims.
– “Pain and Distrust” –
Thousands of Kurds gathered on Place de la Republique in central Paris on Saturday afternoon to hold a minute’s silence for the three murdered there and for those who “died for freedom”.
“What we are feeling is pain and disbelief, because this is not the first time this has happened,” Esra, a 23-year-old student, told AFP.
After clashes erupted, police fired tear gas and demonstrators threw projectiles at officers.AFP journalists at the scene said at least four cars overturned and one burned down .
A similar peaceful rally in the southern port city of Marseille, attended by more than 1,000 people, ended in a clash with police and at least two police cars were set on fire.
Three Kurdish female activists were murdered in the same area of Paris in 2013, and the families of the victims have long accused Turkey of being the mastermind behind the deaths.
Despite allegations, there appears to be no evidence that Friday’s shootings were politically motivated or linked to Turkey.
Within hours of the attack, security forces fired tear gas to disperse protesters trying to breach a police cordon deployed to protect Interior Minister Gerald Dalmanan, who had arrived at the scene. .
Darmanin said Friday that the attackers “clearly targeted foreigners” but was “not certain” that the man was aiming to kill “particularly Kurds”.
– “He’s crazy” –
The suspect, named William M. by French media, is a gun enthusiast with a history of weapons crimes who was released on bail earlier this month.
A retired train driver appealed a 2016 conviction of armed violence by a court in the multicultural Seine-Saint-Denis suburb of Paris.
A year later, he was convicted of illegal possession of a firearm.
Last year, he was charged with racist violence after he allegedly stabbed migrants in a park east of Paris and cut open their tents with a sword.
“He’s crazy, he’s an idiot,” his father reportedly told the M6 television channel.
The Kurds, said to be the world’s largest ethnic group without a state, are a Muslim ethnic group that straddles Syria, Turkey, Iraq and Iran.
https://www.expatica.com/fr/general/suspect-in-paris-shooting-transferred-to-psychiatric-unit-851468/ Paris shooting suspect transferred to psychiatrist