November 29, 2021

Police threatened in Colombes: the attacker with a knife is dead

The police were carrying out an ordinary identity check in Colombes this Friday evening, when a man armed with a knife rushed towards them. At the same time as he rushed towards the police, the man allegedly shouted “Allahu akbar”. Two of the three police officers on the crew fired back, firing five bullets in all. The man died an hour and a half later. At least one projectile hit the attacker, “in the lower abdomen,” according to a person close to the case.

Before brandishing his knife, the attacker had first thrown a bottle of wine in the direction of the police officers, the men of the territorial contact brigade, who then intervened at the corner of the boulevard Charles-de-Gaulle and the street des Gros-Grès, in the district of Petit Colombes. The one who ran into them was “not concerned by the identity check”, according to a police source. He arrived there on foot and attacked the police for no apparent reason.

The fact that he shouted Allahu Akbar in no way indicates his radicalization. “He is not at all known for that but for small common law cases,” said someone close to the case. This 31-year-old man, of Serbian origin, lived in Aulnay-sous-Bois (Seine-Saint-Denis) and is said to have worked as a plumber. In any case, in this district of Petit-Colombes, it seems that we did not know him.

Shortly after the events, the Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin greeted in a tweet “the coolness of the police officers of Colombes who neutralized a man threatening them with a knife”.

The Nanterre public prosecutor’s office entrusted the investigation to the Departmental Judicial Police Service. If the terrorist trail is a priori ruled out, the prosecutor specifies, in a press release, that “the national anti-terrorist prosecution is kept informed”. The general inspectorate of the national police is seized of the section shots fired by the territorial contact brigade.

In the early evening, PJ and technical police were still at work, in a neighborhood in shock. The residents first attended, dazed, the intervention of the police who were deployed in large numbers to set up the security perimeter. Closed from Place Aragon in the direction of Bezons La Garenne-Colombes, Boulevard Charles-de-Gaulle should remain inaccessible for part of the night, while observations and records of traces and clues are completed.

A technical and scientific police vehicle arrived on site around 8:30 p.m. LP / Olivier Bureau

Kept at a distance, residents confide their retrospective fear. “It could have happened to me”, repeat several of them, imagining that they could “have been a collateral victim”. “I heard popping noises. It must have been the shots, testifies a woman, who was then in a nearby street. Very quickly there were the flashing lights, the sirens and the commotion ”.

The mayor of the city, Patrick Chaimovitch (EELV) who visited the site, testifies to the “state of shock” of the inhabitants of the district.