Man Killed After Grabbing Soldier's Gun At Paris Airport

Saturday, March 18th 2017, 10:54 am
By: News On 6

Soldiers at Paris’ busy Orly Airport shot and killed a man who wrestled one of their colleagues to the ground and tried to steal her rifle Saturday, officials said.

No one else was hurt, but thousands of travelers were evacuated and at least 15 flights were diverted to the city’s other airport, Charles de Gaulle.

Police did not immediately provide a motive for the attack. The Paris prosecutor’s office said its anti-terrorism division was handling the investigation and had taken the attacker’s father and brother into custody for questioning.

The attack further rattled France, which remains under a state of emergency after attacks over the past two years that have killed 235 people.

The shooting comes after a similar incident last month at the Louvre Museum in which an Egyptian man attacked soldiers guarding the site and was shot and wounded. It also comes just days before the first anniversary of attacks on the Brussels airport and subway that killed 32 people and wounded hundreds of others.

French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the attacker assaulted three air force soldiers who were patrolling the airport. He said the soldier who was attacked managed to hold on to her rifle and the two soldiers she was with opened fire to protect her and the public.

The Paris prosecutor’s office said the attacker was 39 years old and was known to police for robbery and drug offenses. Prosecutors did not disclose the man’s name but said he was born in 1978 and had nine unspecified infractions on his criminal record.

The incident happened around 8:30 a.m. in a public area of the airport’s South Terminal, before passengers must show tickets or go through security.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.