French police secure an area in Villejuif near Paris, France, January 3, 2020 after police shot dead a man who tried to stab several people in a public park. REUTERS/Charles Platiau
VILLEJUIF, France (Reuters) – French police shot dead a man near Paris on Friday after he went on the rampage with a knife in a park, killing one person and wounding two more, a prosecutor said.
The attack happened in the town of Villejuif, about 8 km (5 miles) south of central Paris. Police cordoned off the area, and ambulances and police vehicles lined a road approaching the park.
The two injured victims are being treated in nearby hospitals, Laure Beccuau, the prosecutor whose office is handling the case, told reporters.
“The suspect tried to attack other victims during his murderous spree, who were able to escape,” she said.
The prosecutor declined to disclose details about the attacker. There was no indication of his identity or the motive for the attack.
Laurent Nunez, the deputy interior minister, visited the scene and said the attacker would likely have hurt more people if police had not shot him when they did. “It was an extremely courageous act,” Nunez said.
In the past four years, the French capital has been rocked by major attacks resulting in mass casualties.
In October last year, four people were stabbed to death at the Paris police headquarters by Mickael Harpon, an IT specialist working for the police. Prosecutors said that attacker, who was shot dead by police, had come under the sway of radical Islamists.
Coordinated bombings and shootings by Islamist militants in November 2015 at the Bataclan theater and other locations around Paris killed 130 people in the deadliest attacks in France since World War Two.
Additional reporting by Matthias Blamont, Simon Carraud and Matthieu Protard in Paris; Writing by Christian Lowe; Editing by Pravin Char