Paris shooting suspect expressed ‘hate for foreigners’, prosecutor says

PARIS, Dec 25 (Reuters) – A suspect accused of shooting dead three Kurds in Paris told investigators he “hated foreigners,” Paris prosecutors said on Sunday.

The 69-year-old was arrested on Friday after two men and a woman were shot dead at a Kurdish cultural center and a nearby Kurdish cafĂ© in the French capital’s busy central 10th arrondissement. The man is believed to be the sole shooter, police said.

The killing shocked the community as it prepared to mark the 10th anniversary of the murders of the three activists and sparked protests that led to clashes with police.

Prosecutor Laure Beccuau said in a statement that the suspect said during questioning that a 2016 burglary at his home sparked “a hatred of foreigners that became completely pathological.”

After being transferred to a psychiatric facility on Saturday, the suspect was released and his police custody resumed on Sunday afternoon, the prosecutor’s office said in a later update, adding that he would be handed over to an investigating judge on Monday .

The office had already said Saturday that a suspected racist motive had been added to the initial murder and weapons crime charges.

During an earlier questioning, the man described himself as depressed and suicidal, and said he had planned to kill himself with a final bullet after the attack, prosecutors said in a statement.

A search of the parents’ home, where the suspect lived, turned up no evidence of any link to an extremist ideology, she said, adding that he first looked for potential victims on the outskirts of the French capital but abandoned the plan.

Prosecutors have previously said the suspect had recently been released while awaiting trial for a saber attack at a migrant camp in Paris a year ago.

Kurdish representatives called for Friday’s shooting to be considered a terrorist attack.

Three other people were wounded in the shooting. Prosecutors said the two remained in hospital but their lives were not in danger.

Reporting by Gus Trompiz Editing by David Goodman and Peter Graff

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