A 52-year-old Greek Orthodox priest was wounded by several shots this Saturday near an orthodox church from the French city of Lyon, authorities have confirmed.
The incident took place around 16:00 in the afternoon on the rue de Saint-Lazar and the victim was consciously transferred to the hospital, with “damage to the abdomen”, so its status is “compromised”.
The attacker, an individual in his 40s, approached the priest and shot him on up to two occasions with a sawed-off shotgun at the abdomen at point-blank range and then ran, according to police sources cited by BFMTV television.
The priest was about to leave office after being questioned within his own community, so the hypothesis of a personal dispute, as BFMTV has learned.
The French Prime Minister, Jean Castex, who was traveling to Saint-Etienne du Rouvray, is heading back to Paris to participate in a crisis cabinet at the Ministry of the Interior.
“I must tell you that they have all the determination of the Government to allow each and every one practice your worship in complete safety and in complete freedom. Our will is strong. Our determination will not weaken, it is ‘The honor of France is the honor of the Republic,’ “said Castex.
The investigation is in charge of the Lyon judicial police, which has installed a security perimeter around the scene of the attack. The DGSI (General Directorate of Internal Security) has not taken over the investigation.
This incident exacerbates the tension after the murder by an Islamist of a history teacher who was beheaded after teaching cartoons of Muhammad in class on 16 October. Last Thursday three more people were killed in the Basilica of Our Lady of Nice in another Islamist attack.