PARIS (AP) — A senior French police officer and his female companion were killed following an attack by a knife-wielding man in a distant suburb of Paris, officials said Monday. The attacker was also killed in the ensuing confrontation with police, while a three-year-old boy was rescued from the scene.
The police commander was stabbed to death outside his home in Magnanville, about 35 miles (55 kilometers) west of Paris, interior minister spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet told reporters at the scene. The attacker then retreated indoors before elite police commandos stormed the residence. The woman and the attacker were found dead; a little boy was found safe and sound.
“The toll is a heavy one,” Brandet told reporters, his voice shaking with emotion. “This commander, this police officer was killed by the individual … (and) we discovered the body of a woman. The assailant, the criminal was killed. Thankfully, a little boy was saved. He was in the house. He’s safe and sound. He was saved by police officers.”
French prosecutor Vincent Lesclous — who said he knew the slain police commander — told reporters that the boy was found “shocked but unharmed.”
Some sources described the attacker as a neighbour of the policeman, who was in plain clothes when he was killed. Witnesses heard the assailant, described as a teenager or in his early 20s, shout “Allahu Akhbar”, Arabic for “God is great”.
Counter-terrorism prosecutors were placed in charge of the investigation, which had initially been treated as a criminal case.