Man killed when trying to seize weapon at Paris Airport

By Asad Cabdullahi Mataan

A man was fatally shot at a Paris airport Saturday after attempting to steal the rifle of a patrol soldier, officials said.

The unidentified man wrestled the soldier to the ground and attempted to take her rifle, but two other soldiers on patrol with her opened fire on the man, killing him, according to French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. No one else was injured in the incident, which took place at about 8:30 a.m. local time.

Interior Minister Bruno Le Roux said the man was “known to the police and intelligence” and was suspected of shooting a police officer earlier Saturday.

The man allegedly shot the police officer in the face with a shotgun during a routine traffic stop in a northern Paris suburb. He then threatened some people in a bar before stealing a car at gunpoint and driving to Paris’s Orly airport. The officer suffered minor head injuries, Le Roux said.

Police didn’t provide a motive for the attack on the Air Force soldiers, but the Paris prosecutors’ office said the investigation is being handled by the anti-terror division.

The soldier who was attacked is a member of the Sentinelle Special Forces that now guard airports, religious sites and other popular places in France after the terror attacks in 2015.

Police teams quickly secured the airport and searched for explosives, but found none. Incoming flights were diverted to nearby airports and delays were expected. The Paris airport authority posted a message on its website urging people to avoid Orly.