French Policeman Traded Himself For A Hostage, Dies Of His Injuries
TREBES, France - A French police officer, who offered himself in exchange for a hostage held by an Islamic terrorist, has died from his injuries.
Arnaud Beltrame, 44, was honored Saturday as a national hero of “exceptional courage and selflessness.”
Beltrame was among the first officers to respond to an attack in the south of France of Friday.
Authorities say the attack began when Morocco-born Redouane Lakdim hijacked a car, killing one person in the car and wounding another. Lakdim then fired several shots at a group of police officers who had been out jogging. Officials say that one officer was hit in the should, but the injury was not serious.
Authorities say Lakdim then went to a supermarket, where he killed two people inside and took others in the market hostage.
Witnesses say they heard Lakdim shout “Allahu akbar” and say he was a “soldier of the Islamic State.”
During the standoff, Beltrame offered himself in exchange for the release of a female hostage.
In a statement, President Emmanuel Macron said “Arnaud Beltrame died in the service of the nation to which he had already given so much…In giving his life to end the deadly plan of a jihadi terrorist, he fell as a hero.”
Beltrame’s death raises the death toll from the attack to four. The attacker was also killed and 15 people were injured in the attack.
French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said “France will never forget his heroism, his bravery, his sacrifice.”