Paris shooting suspect fueled by ‘pathological’ hatred of foreigners, prosecutors say

key points
  • The 69-year-old said he went out that morning to kill migrants or foreigners and then himself.
  • He told investigators he didn’t know his victims and called all “non-European foreigners” his enemies.
  • He was arrested at the scene and transferred to a psychiatric ward on Saturday. His name was not published.
A suspect accused of shooting dead three Kurds in Paris has told investigators of his “pathological” hatred of migrants, Paris prosecutors said on Sunday.
The 69-year-old man said he went that morning to kill migrants or foreigners and then himself, according to prosecutors.

He was arrested at the scene and transferred to a psychiatric ward on Saturday. His name was not published.

If he is released from psychiatric treatment, he faces charges of racially motivated murder, attempted murder and weapons violations.
Prosecutors said in a statement on Sunday the suspect told investigators a break-in at his home in 2016 marked a turning point for him and sparked what he called “hatred of foreigners that became completely pathological.” .

The shooting in a busy Parisian neighborhood shocked and angered the Kurdish community and raised concerns about hate crimes at a time when far-right voices have been gaining traction in France and across Europe.

A group of men protest by overturning a car

Demonstrators turn around a car during a protest against the recent shooting at the Kurdish Cultural Center in Paris on Saturday December 24, 2022. Source: AAP / AP

The suspect told investigators that on the morning of the shooting, he first took his gun to the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis to kill foreigners, but changed his mind, the prosecutor’s statement said.

He then went to the Kurdish center in Paris, which is close to his parents’ house. There he opened fire on a woman and two men, then entered a Kurdish-run hair salon across the street and shot three men.

One of the wounded in the hair salon managed to stop him and hold him until police arrived, the prosecutor said.

He told investigators he didn’t know his victims and described all “non-European foreigners” as his enemies, the statement said.
Two of the injured were hospitalized on Sunday with leg injuries.
Investigators are examining his computer and phone but have found no confirmed links to extremist ideology, the statement said.

On Saturday, members of France’s Kurdish community and anti-racism activists joined in a demonstration of grief and anger. The gathering was largely peaceful, with protesters holding portraits of the victims.

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