A man who was shot dead by police in Paris after a history teacher was beheaded was an “Islamic terrorist,” President Emmanuel Macron said tonight.
The teacher is suspected of having been attacked outside a school earlier today for using cartoons of the Muslim prophet Mohammed in the classroom.
The victim was killed near a school in Conflans St. Honorine, about 40 km north of the French capital, around 5 p.m. local time.
The killer then fled to the nearby town of Eragny-sur-Oise, two miles away, where he refused to surrender.
According to reports from the scene, the police shot the armed suspect several times.
The attacker – allegedly an 18-year-old – is said to have shouted “Allahu Akbar” on the street before he was shot by police.
French President Emmanuel Macron tonight called the attacker an Islamic terrorist.
And Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer tweeted that the republic had been attacked by the “despicable murder of one of its servants”.
The attacker reportedly posted material on social media showing the remains of the teacher before he was killed.
Macron traveled to school on Friday night to speak to staff after the horror of the day.
A source previously told Le Parisien: “The victim recently taught his students a lesson on freedom of expression and showed the caricatures of Muhammad.”
Formal complaints have been filed about the teacher, including from a parent who posted a video on YouTube expressing anger, the news site reported.
The teacher had “invited Muslim students out of the classroom” before showing a Charlie Hebdo cartoon of the Prophet crouched with a star on his buttocks and the words “A star is born.”
An attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo killed 17 people after Paris-born armed men associated with al-Qaeda broke into offices and launched an attack after cartoons of Mohammed were published in whom the Prophet was mocked.
A young girl – presumably Muslim – accidentally stayed behind and later told her parents that she had been shown a picture of a naked man and that he was reportedly described as a prophet.
The murdered teacher had been the subject of an active lawsuit after showing naked images of the prophet, an investigative source said.
“The parents complained … and then you expanded the complaint by posting details online,” the source said.
“The killer was known to the police for minor acts of vandalism and the like, but not for being radicalized,” he added.
A police spokesman confirmed tonight that the victim was a middle school teacher.
It comes just weeks after a terrorism investigation was opened after two news agency employees were stabbed to death outside Charlie Hebdo’s former offices.