Paris shooting suspect admits ‘pathological’ hatred of foreigners

A French man suspected of killing three Kurds in a Paris shooting has confessed to a “pathological” hatred for foreigners, Paris prosecutor Laure Beccuau said on Sunday.

The 69-year-old man was removed from custody for health reasons on Saturday and taken to a police psychiatric facility, AFP reported.

Beccuau meanwhile said in a statement that the suspect was “depressive” and “suicidal” and said he “wanted to kill foreigners” after a burglary in his home in 2016.

The shooting at a Kurdish cultural center and a nearby hairdressing salon on Friday sparked panic in the city’s bustling 10th district, home to several shops and restaurants and a large Kurdish population.

Three others were wounded in the attack but none are in a life-threatening condition, with one now out of hospital, the prosecutor said on Sunday.

The suspect said he initially wanted to kill people in the northern Paris suburb of Seine-Saint-Denis, which has a large immigrant population. But he changed his mind as few people were around and his clothing made it difficult for him to reload his weapon, the prosecutor said.

He then returned to his parents’ house before deciding to go to the 10th district instead.

The shooting has revived the trauma of three unresolved murders of Kurds in 2013 that many blame on Turkey.

Many in the Kurdish community have expressed anger at the French security services, saying they had done too little to prevent the shooting.

The frustration boiled over on Saturday and furious demonstrators clashed with police in central Paris for a second day running after a tribute rally.

The French capital’s police chief Laurent Nunez told BFM television channel on Saturday that 31 officers and one protester were injured in the disturbances, while 11 people were arrested, “mainly for damage”.

Hundreds of Kurds in Syria demonstrated on Sunday in solidarity with the victims.

Meanwhile, the suspect’s father told AFP: “He is mad, he is crazy.” He added that his son said nothing as he left his parents’ home on Friday.

Often described as the world’s largest people without a state, the Kurds are a Muslim ethnic group spread across Syria, Turkey, Iraq and Iran.