October 3, 2023

PARIS (AP) — French judges on Saturday handed preliminary fees of tried homicide to a person suspected of stabbing 4 younger kids and two adults in a French Alps park, an assault that reverberated throughout France and past.

The suspect, a 31-year-old Syrian refugee with everlasting Swedish residency, has a 3-year-old daughter dwelling in Sweden, regional prosecutor Line Bonnet-Mathis mentioned. Witnesses advised investigators that the suspect talked about his daughter, his spouse and Jesus Christ through the assault Thursday focusing on a playground within the lakeside city of Annecy.

The victims, who got here from a number of nations, are not in life-threatening situation, the prosecutor mentioned. The kids, between 22 months and three years previous, stay hospitalized.

Police detained the suspect within the lakeside park within the city of Annecy after bystanders — notably, a Catholic pilgrim who repeatedly swung on the attacker together with his backpack — sought to discourage him.

The suspected attacker, whose identify was not launched, was introduced to investigating judges in Annecy on Saturday and given fees of tried homicide and armed resistance, Bonnet-Mathis mentioned. He’s in custody pending additional investigation.

The suspect refused to speak to investigators, and was examined by a psychiatrist and different docs who deemed him match to face fees, the prosecutor mentioned. She mentioned that the motive remained unclear, however it didn’t seem like terrorism-related.

Witnesses mentioned they heard the attacker point out his daughter, his spouse and Jesus Christ, in keeping with the prosecutor, who mentioned he wore a cross and carried two Christian pictures with him on the time of the assault. He additionally had 480 euros in money and a Swedish driver’s license, and had been sleeping within the widespread space of an Annecy condo constructing.

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He had traveled to Italy and Switzerland earlier than coming to France final October, and French police are coordinating with colleagues in these nations to study extra about his trajectory, mentioned Damien Delaby, director of the regional judicial police.

The kid victims had been two French 2-year-old cousins, a boy and a woman, who had been within the playground with their grandmother when the assailant appeared; a British 3-year-old lady visiting Annecy along with her mother and father; and a 22-month-old Dutch lady, in keeping with the prosecutor.

French President Emmanuel Macron visited the victims and their households, first responders and witnesses Friday. Macron mentioned docs had been “very assured” in regards to the situations of the 2 cousins, who had been probably the most critically injured.

The wounded British lady “is awake, she’s watching tv,” Macron added. A wounded Dutch lady additionally has improved and a critically injured grownup — who was each knifed and wounded by a shot that police fired as they detained the suspected attacker — is regaining consciousness, Macron mentioned.

The significantly injured grownup was handled in Annecy. Portugal’s overseas ministry mentioned he’s Portuguese and “now out of hazard.” He was wounded “attempting to cease the attacker from fleeing from the police,” it mentioned. The second injured grownup was discharged from a hospital, his left elbow bandaged.

The pilgrim, Henri, a 24-year-old who’s on a nine-month strolling and hitchhiking tour of France’s cathedrals, mentioned he’d been setting off to a different abbey when the horror unfolded in entrance of him. The attacker slashed at him, however Henri held his floor and used a weighty backpack he was carrying to swing on the assailant.

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Henri’s father mentioned his son “advised me that the Syrian was incoherent, saying a lot of unusual issues in numerous languages, invoking his father, his mom, all of the Gods.”

The suspect’s profile fueled renewed criticism from far-right and conservative politicians about French migration insurance policies. However authorities famous that the suspect entered France legally, as a result of he has everlasting residency standing in Sweden. Sweden and France are each members of the EU and Europe’s border-free journey zone.

He utilized for asylum in France final yr and was refused a couple of days earlier than the assault, on the grounds that he had already gained asylum in Sweden in 2013, the French inside minister mentioned.


Vaux-Montagny reported from Lyon, France.