Paris knifeman who killed four police officers was a 'trusted' deaf IT worker

4 October 2019, 09:34 | Updated: 25 October 2019, 15:04

The attacker behind yesterday's killing of four police officers has been named and pictured
The attacker behind yesterday's killing of four police officers has been named and pictured. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

A knifeman who stabbed French four police officers to death in a violent rampage has been identified as a deaf IT worker who had recently converted to Islam

Michael Harpon, 45, was shot dead by police after killing one women and three men at the police headquarters in Paris, close to Notre Dame, yesterday afternoon.

He targeted his victims using a ceramic knife which would not have shown up on the building's metal detectors when he entered.

According to Le Figaro, Harpon was originally from the Caribbean island of Mustique, had been deaf since childhood and had worked at the police headquarters since 2003.

French news outlet Actu17 reported he had recently reprimanded by his female boss over his refusing to work with women.

Police at the headquarters after the attack
Police at the headquarters after the attack. Picture: PA
An air ambulance seen in Paris shortly after the attack
An air ambulance seen in Paris shortly after the attack. Picture: Getty

Christophe Crépin, spokesman for the union France Police Policeman in Anger, told The Telegraph: "I know this man. He worked in IT and he had long-running problems with his superior.

"He stabbed her first and then colleagues intervened and were stabbed as well. I am told he then got hold of a firearm.' 

Hours after the attack his apartment 12 miles away was raided and his wife Ilhan, who he married in 2014, was arrested.

it is understood Harpoon converted to Islam in 2018, shortly before the birth of their first child.

Detectives have not yet ruled out possible terrorist motivations.

Four police officers were killed in yesterday's attack
Four police officers were killed in yesterday's attack. Picture: pa
The suspect;'s wife has also been arrested
The suspect;'s wife has also been arrested. Picture: PA

Paris prosecutor Remy Heitz has said anti-terror authorities were 'evaluating' what happened and said a murder investigation had been launched. 

A witness to the attack said: "I saw a man with a knife in his hand.

"He was running after a policeman. He was told to drop his knife, but he did not stop and the policeman fired.

"At first I thought it was a training exercise, but no. The policeman, who was on a break, shouted out three warnings, but the assailant would not stop. The police officer fired two shots and then the assailant fell."

The attack came a day after thousands of officers marched in Paris to protest against low wages, long hours and increasing suicides in their ranks.

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