The Latest: France mourns police officer slain in attack
TREBES, France (AP) — The Latest on the extremist attack in southern France (all times local):
U.S. President Donald Trump is tweeting his support for the victims of a deadly shooting in southern France that killed four people.
Trump says Saturday on Twitter from his golf club in West Palm Beach, Florida, that he condemns “the violent actions of the attacker and anyone who would provide him support.”
Trump tweets “we are with you @EmmanuelMacron!”
Among the dead in southern France was a police officer who offered himself up Friday to an Islamic extremist gunman in exchange for a hostage during the attack.
Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron are meeting in Washington on April 24 for the first state visit of Trump’s presidency. The French leader, who has already put in place stronger police measures since being elected in May, is expected to address a joint session of Congress the following day.
A French judicial official says three homemade explosive devices have been found in the supermarket in southern France that was the site of a deadly attack by a man calling himself “a soldier” of the Islamic State group.
Also found were a 7.65-caliber handgun and a hunting knife, the official said on Saturday. He wasn’t authorized to speak publicly about an ongoing investigation.
The supermarket in Trebes was the site of an hours-long attack Friday that killed four people. The 25-year-old Moroccan-born attacker was himself killed when special police stormed the market.
It wasn’t clear whether the knife and handgun found were the weapons he wielded when entering the supermarket.
— by Elaine Ganley in Paris.
A judicial official says French police searching the home of the man responsible for a deadly rampage in southern France have found notes referring to the Islamic State group that appeared to be a final testament.
Also found in the search of the home were a computer and telephone, the official said Saturday, a day after the attack. He was not authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation and couldn’t be named.
Police searched the home of Moroccan-born Redouane Lakdim, 25, after Friday’s attack that killed four people — two in a supermarket near the southern city of Carcassonne where the attacker was killed in an assault. The fourth victim, a gendarme who stood in for a female hostage and was shot, died early Saturday.
The official says there apparently was no mention in the notes of the attack plans.
— By Elaine Ganley.
France is mourning the death of a courageous police officer who offered himself up to an Islamic extremist gunman in exchange for a hostage during an attack on a supermarket.
Lt. Col. Arnaud Beltrame, a 44-year-old gendarme, died from his injuries after the attacker shot him. Flags are at half-staff at all French gendarmeries.
Hashtag #ArnaudBeltrame has been the most used on Twitter in France, with many social media users paying tribute to a “hero” who gave his life to save others.
Residents of Carcassonne and the nearby town of Trebes, where the supermarket attack took place, are placing flowers in front of the gendarmerie local headquarters.
Marie Kerboull, resident of Carcassone, said she her flowers were meant to be a show of support “the family. He is our hero.”
Marie Castelles, of Trebes, said “the military, the police officers, I would like to give them a big homage.”
The manager of a supermarket in southern France that was attacked by an extremist gunman has praised the officer who exchanged himself for a hostage as a hero who saved her co-worker’s life.
The manager, who identified herself only by her first name, Samia, said that her co-worker was in a “catastrophic state” after the death of the officer, Lt. Col. Arnaud Beltrame.
Beltrame had offered himself up unarmed to the 25-year-old attacker in exchange for a female hostage in the southern town of Trebes. The attacker shot him and Beltrame later died of his injuries.
A total of four people were killed in the attack in the supermarket in Trebes, and in a carjacking beforehand in a nearby town. The gunman was also killed when police stormed the supermarket.
The brother of a French police officer who was killed after he swapped himself for a hostage during an Islamic extremist attack on a supermarket says that he has died a hero.
Lt. Col. Arnaud Beltrame had offered himself up unarmed to the 25-year-old attacker in exchange for a female hostage in the southern town of Trebes. The attacker shot him and Beltrame later died of his injuries.
Cedric Beltrame told RTL radio Saturday his brother “gave his life for strangers.”
He added that his brother “was well aware he had almost no chance. He was very aware of what he was doing.” Cedric Beltrame also stressed that his brother kept his professional reflexes. The officer managed to surreptitiously leave his cellphone on so that police outside could hear what was going on inside the supermarket.
Cedric Beltrame said that “if we don’t describe him as a hero, I don’t know what you need to do to be a hero. It’s a word I think is appropriate for him in such tragic circumstances.”
The gunman was killed when police stormed the supermarket after hearing shots.
The manager of a French supermarket attacked by an Islamic extremist gunman says she felt “helpless” as he fired shots in her store.
The woman, who would identify herself only by her first name, Samia, says she was in her office when she heard the shots. She came downstairs saw what was happening and called police. She said she helped evacuate as many people as possible.
She said from inside city hall, where the local government had set up a crisis center, that “it was terrifying.”
A total of four people were killed in the attack, including a French police officer who exchanged himself for a female hostage in the Super U market and later died of his injuries. The gunman was also killed when police stormed the supermarket.
The Paris prosecutors’ office says that police have detained a 17-year-old in connection with the investigation into the Islamic extremist attack that killed four people, including a police officer, in southern France.
The unidentified young man was arrested overnight over alleged criminal association in relation with a terrorist enterprise. He is a friend of the gunman, identified by prosecutors as Morocco-born Redouane Lakdim, who was killed when police stormed a supermarket in Trebes where he took hostages.
Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said Friday that another person, a woman close to Lakdim, was taken into custody on the same grounds. Molins didn’t identify her.
Paris counterterrorism investigators took over the probe into the attack in Trebes and nearby Carcassonne.
The mother of a French police officer who was killed after he swapped himself for a hostage during an Islamic extremist attack on a supermarket says that she wasn’t surprised by her son’s courage.
Lt. Col. Arnaud Beltrame had offered himself up unarmed to the 25-year-old attacker in exchange for a female hostage in the southern town of Trebes. The attacker shot him and Beltrame later died of his injures.
Beltrame’s mother told RTL radio Friday night before the announcement of his death that “I’m not surprised. I knew it had to be him. He has always been like that. It’s someone, since he was born, who gives everything for his homeland.”
Asked if she was proud of him, she said he would have told her ”‘I’m doing my job mom, that’s all.’”
She said to “defend the homeland” was his “reason for living.” RTL didn’t give her name.
France’s top security official says a heroic officer who swapped himself for a hostage during an attack on a supermarket has died of his injuries.
Interior Minister Gerard Collomb wrote in a tweet early Saturday that Lt. Col. Arnaud Beltrame had “died for his country.”
Beltrame offered himself up unarmed to the 25-year-old attacker in exchange for a female hostage. He managed to surreptitiously leave his cellphone on so that police outside could hear what was going on inside the supermarket. Officials said once they heard shots inside the market they decided to storm it, killing the gunman.
Beltrame was grievously injured, and his death raises the toll from the attack to four.
The Islamic State-linked Aamaq news agency said the attacker was responding to the group’s calls to target countries in the U.S.-led coalition. The attack was the deadliest since Emmanuel Macron became president last May.
A previous version of this story has been corrected throughout to show that the dead officer’s rank is Lt. Col., not Col.