The attack, which shook an entire nation, took place around 9 o’clock on Thursday morning. Three people lost their lives, and the perpetrator, identified as a 21-year-old man of Tunisian nationality, is hospitalized after being shot by police.
According to Le Parisien, his condition is serious.
The mayor of the city, Christian Estrosi, described the killings as “bestial”, and said the perpetrator used similar methods as the attack on teacher Samuel Paty, according to the BBC.
Among other things, one of the victims, a woman in her 60s, had her neck cut. Church servant Vincent Loquès (55) was also found killed inside the church. Also he with stab wounds in the neck. The third victim, a 44-year-old woman, sustained serious injuries but managed to escape from the church to a nearby cafe, where she later died from the injuries.
On Thursday night, the police are said to have made another arrest in connection with the attack. According to French media, a 47-year-old man was arrested in Nice late Thursday night, suspected of having been in contact with the perpetrator on Wednesday – the day before the attack was carried out.
According to the news agency AFP, the man is being questioned on Friday morning.
Avisa Nice-Matin writes that the 47-year-old is suspected of having given the perpetrator a phone call.
According to the French prosecution, the 21-year-old perpetrator was wearing two telephones when he was arrested by the police around 9 o’clock on Thursday morning.
The murder weapon was a 30 centimeter long knife, with a knife blade of 17 centimeters, said the French public prosecutor for anti-terrorism, Jean-François Ricard, according to Le Figaro.
Police also found a bag with the man’s personal belongings, as well as two unused knives.
To Europe in September
The man was wearing documents from the Italian Red Cross, stating that he is of Tunisian nationality and born in 1999. During the attack, the 21-year-old is also said to have had a version of the Muslims’ holy book the Koran on him.
Both local police and the police’s anti-terrorism group conducted an investigation on Thursday at the scene inside the more than hundred-year-old church building in the center of Nice. According to Nice-Matin, the police quickly concluded that the man had carried out the attacks alone.
The 21-year-old man is said to have been unknown to the police.
According to Attorney General Richard, he arrived on the Italian island of Lampedusa in late September. There he was placed in corona quarantine, before he was transported to the port city of Bari on October 9 and asked to leave Italian territory, writes NTB.
The man then traveled to France, equipped with identity papers from the Red Cross.