Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


France names suspect in Paris shootings

21 November 2013, 08:30

Paris - France on Thursday named the man arrested over the dramatic shootings in Paris as Abdelhakim Dekhar, previously jailed for his role in a "Bonnie-and-Clyde" style multiple murder, and said his DNA matched samples from the scene of the attacks.

The suspect was arrested on Wednesday after a major manhunt following Monday's shooting at left-wing newspaper Liberation, which critically wounded a photographer, and a subsequent shooting outside the offices of bank Societe Generale.

France's Interior Minister Manuel Valls identified him as Dekhar, who served four years in jail for his role in a "Bonnie-and-Clyde" style multiple homicides that gripped France in the 1990s.

In a late-night press conference the minister praised police for their handling of Dekhar's arrest, saying that "all the evidence today points to his involvement in the events that he has been charged with".

Dekhar, who is in his late 40s, was convicted in 1998 of buying a gun used in an October 1994 shooting attack by student Florence Rey and her lover Audry Maupin, in which three policemen and a taxi driver were killed.

DNA match

He was arrested around 19:00 in a vehicle in an underground parking lot in the northwestern Paris suburb of Bois-Colombes, after apparently trying to commit suicide.

Valls said that "everything appears to point to a suicide attempt", and sources told AFP Dekhar was semi-conscious when he was found.

The head of the Paris criminal police department Christian Flaesch said he was in custody in a "medical environment" and was not in a fit state to speak to investigators.

Police tested Dekhar's DNA against samples taken at the sites of the various attacks, announcing early on Thursday that the samples matched.

Earlier DNA tests confirmed that a single person was responsible for the series of attacks across Paris in the last week, including hijacking a car on the famed Champs Elysees and threatening staff at a 24-hour television station.

The motive for the shootings remains unclear. Valls said investigators would need more information about the suspect's past to be able to "understand his motivation".

Several shots

The arrest came after a witness statement to police, who had on Tuesday released a new photograph of the man suspected in the attacks and received hundreds of calls from potential witnesses.

A source close to the investigation said the witness who came forward had been a man who had housed the suspect.

"He had said to him, talking about the shooter case: 'I've made a stupid mistake'," the source said.

The man opened fire with a 12-gauge shotgun at the offices of Liberation early on Monday, shooting a 23-year-old photographer's assistant as he hauled gear in the lobby, and then firing another blast that hit the roof before leaving within seconds.

He then crossed the city to the La Defense business district on its western edge, where he fired several shots outside the main office of the Societe Generale bank, hitting no one.

He hijacked a car and forced the driver to drop him off close to the Champs Elysees in the centre of the French capital, before disappearing.

Police say he was the same man who on Friday stormed into the Paris headquarters of a 24-hour TV news channel, BFM TV, briefly threatening staff with a gun before hurrying out.

Rey-Maupin affair

Dekhar was suspected of being the third man in the so-called Rey-Maupin affair, which caused a scandal in France, with investigators comparing the young couple to the infamous American outlaws Bonnie and Clyde.

Witnesses at the trial in 1998 described him as a mentor to the couple and accused him of exploiting their youth to manipulate them.

In the early 1990s he was known to hang out at squats that were used by left-wing radicals and were often under police surveillance.

Maupin died of injuries sustained during a shoot-out with police and Rey, a middle-class student up till now unknown to the police, was tried and sentenced to 20 years in jail. She was released in 2009.

Dekhar was acquitted of armed assault but found guilty of procuring the weapon and sentenced to four years. He was released soon after, having already served his time in pre-trial detention.

Valls said that Dekhar had "probably gone abroad" for several years after serving his sentence and did not appear in official records for that period.

This week's attacks set off a major manhunt and raised concerns about violence against media outlets.

The photographer, who suffered wounds to the chest and stomach, was rushed to surgery and appeared to be in better condition on Wednesday.

Hospital officials said he had regained consciousness and was no longer in need of an artificial respirator.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...