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Knife attack kills 4 employees at police headquarters in Paris

By
Nicholas Sakelaris & Danielle Haynes
Military forces establish a security perimeter near police headquarters in Paris on Thursday, after an attacker killed four officers. Photo by Ian Langsdon/EPA-EFE
Military forces establish a security perimeter near police headquarters in Paris on Thursday, after an attacker killed four officers. Photo by Ian Langsdon/EPA-EFE

Oct. 3 (UPI) -- A knife-wielding employee at Paris' police headquarters attacked and killed four colleagues Thursday, authorities said.

The attack occurred in a section of the Paris station that is not accessible to the public. One officer was stabbed in his office and another in a courtyard.

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Police said the 45-year-old employee of the department's technology department also injured other employees in the assault. Police shot the attacker dead immediately after the assault began, officials said.

Among the dead were three officers from the anti-terrorist department and one administrator in the public security department.

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Investigators offered no motive for the attack.

French President Emmanuel Macron was on the scene of the deadly attack Thursday afternoon. He was joined by French Prime Minister Edouard Phillippe, Interior Minister Christophe Castaner and Depurty Interior Minister Laurent Nunez.

"He worked with these colleagues and had never shown any behavioral difficulties or anything to raise an alarm," Castaner said.

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Investigators searched the suspect's home and took his wife into custody for questioning.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo confirmed that "several police officers" lost their lives. Officials will pay tribute to them at the Paris Council meeting.

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"Paris cries for its own this afternoon after this terrible attack at the @prefpolice," Hidalgo posted on Twitter. "Heavy casualties, several police officers lost their lives. On my behalf and that of Parisians, my first thoughts go to the families of the victims and their loved ones."

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"The President of the Republic went to the police station to show his support and solidarity to all the staff," the Elysee Palace said in a statement.

The administrative employee was with the department for 20 years, police union secretary Loic Travers said. He worked in the technology department since 2003.

Investigators said the attacker used a ceramic knife. Authorities weren't initially certain of a motive, but French media reported it may have been the result of a personal vendetta.

The Paris police headquarters is near the Notre Dame Cathedral, which burned earlier this year. Police cordoned off the area surrounding the station.

The attack follows a rally in Paris Wednesday, in which thousands of the city's officers protested what they consider insufficient wages and long hours.

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