Man killed after trying to grab Paris airport soldier’s gun

Travelers wait outside the Orly airport , south of Paris, Saturday, March, 18, 2017. A man was shot dead after wrestling a soldier to the ground at Paris' Orly Airport and trying to take her rifle, officials said. No one else in the busy terminal was hurt, but thousands of travelers were evacuated and flights were diverted to the city's other airport. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

ORLY, France (AP) – Soldiers at Paris’ busy Orly Airport have shot and killed a man who wrestled one of their colleagues to the ground and tried to steal her rifle, according to French officials.

A French official connected to the investigation confirms media reports identifying the Orly Airport attacker as Ziyed Ben Belgacem, a 39-year-old born in France.

Thousands of travelers were evacuated and at least 15 flights were diverted to the city’s other airport, Charles de Gaulle. No one else was hurt.

Police did not immediately provide a motive, though the Paris prosecutor’s office said he had a record of robbery and drug offenses. The office said he did not appear in a French government database of people considered potential threats to national security.

Earlier Saturday, Paris police say Belgacem fired birdshot at officers during a traffic stop in a Paris suburb, wounding one in the face, then stole a woman’s car at gunpoint. It was found near Orly.

The prosecutor’s office said its anti-terrorism division is handling the investigation and had taken Belgacem’s father and brother into custody for questioning.

The incident further rattled France, which remains under a state of emergency after attacks over the past two years that have killed 235 people.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

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