The drama took place at the end of the morning, Friday February 19. An official of a refugee reception center in Pau (Pyrénées-Atlantiques) was killed by a Sudanese asylum seeker who stabbed him several times, AFP learned from the municipality and from a police source .
According to information from France Télévisions, the reception center for asylum seekers called the fire department around 11 a.m., reporting that a 46-year-old man, director of the home managed by the Isard-Cos Association, was seriously wounded with a stabbing weapon. The man died of his injuries, while the suspect, a 38-year-old Sudanese man, was arrested without incident.
“It’s a terrible drama”, reacted the mayor of Pau (Pyrénées-Atlantiques) François Bayrou, on France Bleu Béarn Bigorre. “All the more appalling as the victim has been involved all his professional life in the defense of migrants and those who applied for asylum”, he added.
According to information from France Télévisions, the suspect has been in France since 2015 and not hosted in this center. His gesture is said to be linked to the refusal of his application for refugee status and is not of a terrorist nature. He had otherwise been “followed by the reception center for asylum seekers a few years ago”, the public prosecutor said in a statement, adding that his criminal record shows two convictions executed for acts of violence committed in 2017.
The Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, announced on Twitter that he was going there. He is expected in Pau around 5 p.m.
After having exchanged with @bayrou, I will be going to Pau at the end of the afternoon to meet the staff of the association as well as elected officials following the dramatic attack this morning. I extend my sincere condolences to the victim’s family and loved ones.
– Gérald DARMANIN (@GDarmanin) February 19, 2021
A flagrant investigation aimed at determining the exact course of the events as well as the motivations for the act, was entrusted to the departmental security of the Pau police station, announced the public prosecutor. A psychological support unit has been set up for the reception center staff.