Frenchman who allegedly tried to grab soldier's gun at Paris airport wasn't on threat list

A Paris-born man who was shot dead by French security forces after he tried to grab an assault weapon from a soldier at a Paris airport was not on the government’s list of people considered a national security threat, according to the Paris prosecutor’s office.

The suspect, identified as 39-year-old Ziyed Ben Belgacem by multiple police and intelligence sources, was known to authorities for committing robberies and being a drug user. Belgacem served time in prison and released in Nov. 2016, the Paris prosecutor said at a news conference.

Investigators are searching for “clues, stories, and images” pertaining to the suspect and incident at Orly Airport early Saturday morning, France’s interior minister said earlier Saturday.

Additionally, the brother and father of the suspect are being questioned, but have not been detained.

Minister of the Interior Bruno Le Roux said the incident at the airport happened at 8:30 a.m.

France’s Minister of Defense, Jean-Yves Le Drian, said the suspect attacked three soldiers patrolling Orly Airport. He tried to take the weapon of one of the soldiers, a woman.

“She was able to hold to her weapon. Two other soldiers shot at [the] individual to protect her. I congratulate them,” Le Drian said.

The airport was partially shut down and evacuated following the incident.

Air traffic at the airport’s two commercial passenger terminals was temporarily suspended, and flights were diverted to Paris’ other international airport, Charles de Gaulle Airport.

Later Saturday, the airport’s operations were gradually resuming.

Le Roux said the assailant was involved in a carjacking earlier in the day and had also shot at a police officer at a traffic stop.

“We can also link his identity to a police check that occurred this morning at 6:50 in the northern suburbs of Paris. During this police check, the individual shot with a gun at a police officer who was slightly injured,” Le Roux said.

ABC News’ Rex Sakamoto, Devin Villacis, Christopher Donato, Alexandra Faul and Dan Rostas contributed to this report. The Associated Press also contributed to this report.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

ABC News: International