Rabat - French police have arrested a 17-year-old student for the highschool shooting that left three students and the headmaster injured and 5 others in shock on Thursday.
Rabat – French police have arrested a 17-year-old student for the highschool shooting that left three students and the headmaster injured and 5 others in shock on Thursday.
It happened in the southern French town of Grasse on Thursday. According to a report by the BBC, when a young man walked into Lycee Alexis De Tocqueville school and began shooting.
The suspect was reportedly armed with a hunting rifle, two handguns and two grenades. He was apprehended shortly after France’s anti-terrorist squad was deployed to the scene.
Speaking to reporters after the suspect’s arrest, education Minister, NajatVallaud-Belkacem, spoke of the young man as “fragile” and the headmaster’s actions as “heroic.” When the rampage was ongoing, the headmaster began to reason with the gunman, seemingly diffusing it. “It was a crazy act by a youth who is unstable and fascinated by guns,” she said.
In an interview with local newspaper, Nice Matin, one student described the headmaster, named as HervePizzinat, calmly communicating with the shooter, even after being shot in the arm. “He kept trying to bring him back to reason,” the student said.
A total of ten students were treated for shock or minor injuries they incurred in the panic the shooting caused as they tried to flee the area. There were no critical injuries suffered. Initial reports had suggested the possibility of a second gunman but this was quickly ruled out. According to MsVallaud-Belkacem, the school was lucky. “We missed out on the worst,” she said.
According to a separate BBC report, in an unrelated incident, an International Monetary Fund (IMF) employee suffered injuries to her face and hands when she opened a letter bomb Thursday at the organization’s office in Paris.
On Wednesday, a parcel bomb meant for German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble was intercepted before it could detonate. A Greek far-left group called the Conspiracy of Fire Cells claimed responsibility. Police are investigating if the two incidents are related. According to French President, Francois Hollande, “We are trying to establish the causes of what happened as part of an international investigation.”
When Greece was in danger of defaulting on its debts, the IMF, along with the European Commission and the European Central Bank, bailed out on the Greek government.
IMF Director, Christine Lagarde, issued a statement regarding the letter bomb incident, saying the IMF was working closely with investigators to determine the source of the homemade device and calling the incident a “cowardly act of violence.”