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

key points
  • The 69-year-old said he had gone out that morning with the aim of killing migrants or foreigners and then himself.
  • He told investigators he did not know his victims and described all “non-European foreigners” as his enemies.
  • He was arrested at the scene and taken to psychiatric care on Saturday. His name has not been released.
A suspect accused of shooting dead three Kurds in Paris told investigators of his “pathological” hatred of migrants, the Paris prosecutor said Sunday.
The 69-year-old man said he had gone out that morning with the aim of killing migrants or foreigners and then himself, according to prosecutors.

He was arrested at the scene and taken to psychiatric care on Saturday. His name has not been released.

If released from psychiatric care, he faces possible charges of racially motivated murder, attempted murder and weapons violations.
Prosecutors said in a statement Sunday that the suspect told investigators that a burglary at his home in 2016 marked a turning point for him, sparking what he called a “hatred of foreigners that become completely pathological.”

The shooting in a bustling Paris neighborhood shocked and angered the Kurdish community and raised concerns about hate crimes at a time when far-right voices have gained prominence in France and across Europe.

Men in a group protest by circling a car

Demonstrators turn around a car during a protest against the recent shooting at the Kurdish cultural center in Paris, Saturday, Dec. 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 with the intention of killing foreigners, but changed his mind, according to the prosecutor’s statement.

Then he went to the Kurdish center of Paris, which is near his parents’ house. He opened fire on a woman and two men there, then walked into a Kurdish-run hair salon across the street and shot three men.

One of the injured in the hairdresser managed to arrest him and hold him until the police arrived, according to the prosecutor’s statement.

He told investigators he did not know his victims and described all “non-European foreigners” as his enemies, the statement said.
Two of the injured were still hospitalized Sunday with leg injuries.
Investigators are studying 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 united in a demonstration of grief and anger. The rally was largely peaceful, with protesters holding portraits of the victims.

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