Paris suspect linked to 1994 shootout

Thursday 21 November 2013 20.14
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The suspect was identified through DNA analysis
The suspect was identified through DNA analysis
Abdelhakim Dekhar was found in a car park in Bois-Colombes
Abdelhakim Dekhar was found in a car park in Bois-Colombes

French police have arrested a man suspected of shooting and seriously wounding an employee of a Paris newspaper and firing a shotgun at the headquarters of a major bank.

The suspect, Abdelhakim Dekhar, had ties with a couple involved in a Paris shootout with police in 1994 that killed five people, including three officers.

That incident became known as the Rey-Maupin affair.

Mr Dekhar was arrested late last night in a semi-conscious state in his car in a car park in the northwestern Paris suburb of Bois-Colombes.

Police had received a tip-off of his whereabouts from someone with whom he had recently stayed.

Interior Minister Manuel Valls told a news conference that police believe Mr Dekhar tried to take his own life, but added that his motive for the shootings remained unknown.

Police mounted a massive manhunt for the gunman after he wounded a 23-year-old photographer's assistant in the lobby of left-wing newspaper Liberation before fleeing.

Shortly afterwards, he fired at least three shots into the lobby of the headquarters of Societe Generale in the La Defense business district. There were no casualties.

The gunman then vanished into the crowds of the Champs-Elysees after forcing a driver at gunpoint to take him there.

Police were able to identify Mr Dekhar using DNA traces left behind on spent cartridges and in the car he used to get to the Champs-Elysees.

Mr Dekhar was sentenced to four years in prison for buying a gun that was used by the couple in the 1994 shootout during a car chase in eastern Paris.