France 24 Prosecutors are not treating the attack as a terrorism case, but were following it closely.
The 36-year-old man, who has not been officially identified, fatally stabbed his relatives in broad daylight on a street in Trappes, a suburb southwest of Paris. He then took refuge in a house and was later shot dead by police when he left the house and ran towards the police in a threatening way, according to French Interior Minister Gérard Collomb.
“It appears the criminal had serious psychiatric problems,” Collomb told reporters in Trappes.
“He was known (to the police) for advocating terrorism but it seems he was a disturbed person rather than someone who could respond to calls for action from terrorist organisations like Daesh,” he said, using the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State (IS) group.
AP/ France24 A man armed with a knife killed two people and seriously injured another Thursday morning in the Paris suburb of Trappes. The assailant was shot and killed by police.
The attacker, who has not been identified, shouted “Allahu akbar” (God is great), according to French TV station BFM. But police could not immediately confirm it.
French Interior Minister Gérard Collomb said his thoughts were with “the victims and their loved ones,” without saying how many victims there were. Collomb also hailed the quick reaction by French security services and said an investigation into the “tragedy” was under way in a Twitter post.
Three French officials identified the two people killed in the attack in Trappes and the mother and sister of the attacker.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to give such details publicly. The third victim, a passerby who was gravely injured in the attack, was also a woman, one of the officials said.
The Islamic State group, via its Aamaq news agency, claimed responsibility. The agency said the attack in Trappes was motivated by calls from the IS leadership to attack civilians in countries at war with the extremist group. Hours earlier, IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi urged followers to attack enemies everywhere by all means, including in knife attacks.
Police officials said the man was flagged in a government database of suspected religious and political extremists. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the investigation publicly.