Suspect in French knife attack dies after shootout arrest

french police
French soldiers walk past firefighters vehicles after a municipal policewoman was attacked with a knife on May 28, 2021, in La Chapelle-sur-Erdre, near Nantes, western France. A suspect ran away after a knife attack on a policewoman in La Chapelle-sur-Erdre, near Nantes, on May 28, 2021. (Photo: AFP)
LA CHAPELLE-SUR-ERDRE, France — A suspect in a knife attack on a policewoman in France died on Friday after a shootout with police during his arrest, sources close to the case said.اضافة اعلان

The man, who had been on the run after the attack in La Chapelle-sur-Erdre near the northwestern city of Nantes, was "radicalized and suffering from a very serious psychiatric illness", one source said.
The BFMTV station said that the man took the policewoman's service weapon before fleeing. A source close to the investigation said that her injuries were life-threatening.

Three French gendarmes were wounded -- in the hand and in the arm -- in the operation that resulted in the arrest of the suspect, authorities said.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin was on his way to the scene, his ministry said. He said on Twitter that the individual arrested was suspected of carrying out the attack.

Pupils in the area's primary and middle schools were kept indoors, a city official told AFP.

La Chapelle-sur-Erdre is a small town of 20,000 inhabitants just north of Nantes near the French Atlantic coast. 

The attack came on the same day that Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti called on French judges to show "firmness" when dealing with people found guilty of attacks on police forces.

All such cases of violence should go before a criminal court, he said in a memo to investigating magistrates seen by AFP.

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