Two men carried out a stabbing attack in a suburb of Lyon, France, killing a 19-year-old man and wounding eight others.
Man armed with a knife and a barbecue fork attacked passers-by at a metro station in the Lyon suburb of Villeurbanne on Saturday, killing a 19-year-old and injuring eight others. Police detain an Afghan asylum seeker in France in connection with a mass stabbing attack that killed 1 and wounded 9 others
Three victims who were reported critically injured on Saturday are now stable, the Lyon prosecutor said at a news conference on Sunday.
The suspect was arrested and taken into police custody for “murder and attempted murder,” according to AFP.
While in custody, the man said he was a Muslim and gave a “confused” statement, claiming he heard voices insulting God and giving him “the order to kill,” the prosecutor added.
The suspect said he only had memories of the beginning of the attack, adding he thought he recognised his first victim — “an individual with whom he had been in dispute since his time in England a few years ago.”
He said he “acted out of revenge” but his answers “were incoherent and confused,” the prosecutor said.
After consultation with a psychiatrist, he was declared to be in a psychotic state with paranoid delusions. He acknowledged that he had used cannabis.
The man, who does not have a criminal record, is an Afghan national.
He is known under two identities and has three declared dates of birth, which would make him 33, 31 or 27, the official added.
He holds a “carte de sejour” residence permit, which is valid until January 31, 2020.
Authorities initially reported a second suspect on the run, but the prosecutor and a second police source later denied the existence of a second perpetrator.
The attack happened at 4.30 pm at Laurent Bonnevay metro station.
The suspect was initially detained by passers-by, including TCL transit workers.
“I sensed that something was not right and when I got to the lift I saw that some people had stopped someone,” a 39-year-old mother-of-one at the scene told Euronews.
“I saw some people in front of the lift who shouted at a man ‘stay there’ and ‘don’t move’. There were maybe three men who had stopped him, it wasn’t police.”
She added: “I thought it was a robbery at first. Someone else, I’m not sure if it was a security guard, said to me: ‘Get away from here’. I saw a man with some blood on his t-shirt.”
Among the injured, three were critical and five less seriously hurt, according to the prosecutor’s office. In addition, 20 others were treated for shock.
“There was a gentleman at the 57 [bus] stop who started stabbing people in all directions,” a young girl with a blood-stained tank top told AFP.
“He managed to touch, to open a person’s stomach. He stabbed a guy in the head,” she cried.
The mayor of Lyon, Gérard Collomb, quickly went to the scene and called for people not to speculate about the nature of the attack.
He said the suspect had targeted “people waiting for their buses in a high-traffic area” and was on his trying to flee through the metro station when he was apprehended.