A shocking attack that took place in a French Alps park has resulted in the suspect being charged with attempted murder. French judges issued the preliminary charges on Saturday, following an incident that left four young children and two adults stabbed.
The suspect, a 31-year-old Syrian refugee who holds permanent residency in Sweden, was charged with attempted murder and armed resistance. He is reported to have a 3-year-old daughter residing in Sweden.
Witnesses revealed that the suspect mentioned his daughter, his wife, and Jesus Christ during the assault at a playground in the lakeside town of Annecy.
The victims, who were of various nationalities, are no longer in life-threatening condition, according to the regional prosecutor. However, the children remain hospitalized for further treatment.
After the assailant was confronted by bystanders, including a Catholic pilgrim who used his backpack to deter the attacker. The suspect was apprehended by the police in the lakeside park in Annecy.
The suspect, whose identity has not been disclosed, was presented to investigating judges in Annecy on Saturday. The investigation revealed that he refused to cooperate with investigators. He underwent evaluation by a psychiatrist and other medical professionals, who deemed him fit to face charges.
Authorities have stated that the attack does not appear to be terrorism-related.
The suspect had been sleeping in the common area of an apartment building in Annecy. His travel history indicates visits to Italy and Switzerland before arriving in France last October. French authorities are collaborating with their counterparts in those countries to gather further information about his movements.
The victims of the attack include two French cousins aged 2, a British girl aged 3 who was visiting Annecy with her parents, and a 22-month-old Dutch girl, according to the prosecutor’s office.
French President Emmanuel Macron visited the victims, their families, and the first responders. He provided updates on their conditions, expressing confidence in the progress made by the critically injured victims.
Macron noted that the wounded British girl was awake and watching television, while the wounded Dutch girl was also showing signs of improvement. Additionally, a critically injured adult, who had been both stabbed and shot by the police during the suspect’s arrest, was regaining consciousness.
The profile of the suspect has reignited the debate surrounding French migration policies, with far-right and conservative politicians raising concerns.
However, authorities have highlighted that the suspect entered France legally due to his permanent residency status in Sweden.