Man Stabs, Shoots 3 French Police Officers; Motive Unclear

PARIS—An unidentified assailant stabbed a police officer at her station in western France then shot two other officers before being detained Friday, authorities said. The motive for the attack is unclear.

The suspect was gravely wounded during the arrest, France’s national gendarme service told The Associated Press. His identity is being verified.

The three officers were wounded but none is in life-threatening condition, the gendarmes said.

After stabbing the first police officer in her station in the Nantes suburb of La Chapelle-sur-Erdre, the assailant took her gun and fled, according to the gendarme service.

French police deployed helicopters, search dogs, and more than 200 officers to find the suspect, and closed nearby schools and stores. When he was located, he fired on officers trying to arrest him, the gendarme service said.

Police and ambulances blocked roads in the normally quiet, residential area.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin and the Nantes prosecutor headed to the scene of the attack. Domestic security and attacks on police are a big political issue ahead of regional elections next month and France’s presidential election next year.

Two police employees have been killed in France in recent weeks. One was an administrative official stabbed to death inside her police station near Paris in what authorities are investigating as an Islamic extremist attack. The other was a drug squad officer shot to death in the southern city of Avignon.

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