After the shock of the aggression, the time for contemplation. In Nice, the faithful of the Saint-Pierre d’Arène church are called to meet this Monday evening. Following the stabbing that left two injured Sunday morning in the religious building, the parish has indeed announced that a mass will be celebrated from 6 p.m. It is open to “all people of good will” who “are invited to come and pray”.
At the same time, the investigation carried out under the direction of the Nice prosecutor’s office is continuing. But under what conditions, when the alleged assailant, with a fragile psychological profile, was hospitalized automatically? 20 minutes make the point.
What happened ?
Everything changed around 10 a.m. on Sunday. As the mass prepares to start, a man enters the church located rue de la Buffa armed with a knife. He jumps on Father Krzysztof Rudzinski, the priest of Polish origin who has been living there for ten years, and stabs him several times in the chest and in the leg. A nun, Sister Marie-Claude, intervenes, is wounded in the hand, but manages to disarm the assailant. Several faithful intervene to control it. He was arrested quickly on the spot after having tried to flee and turned back. The victims are transported conscious to the hospital. Their days are not in danger.
Who is the alleged attacker?
Of French nationality, this 31-year-old man named Kevin was born in Fréjus. Living in Nice, he regularly went to this church, where his fragile psychological state was known. He is “obviously bipolar”, according to a police source. “There were days when he was exuberant, kind, happy, when he kissed everyone. And other days when it was less of that,” explained Father Gil Florini, the parish priest. From Sunday, the prefect of the Alpes-Maritimes paint the portrait of an “unbalanced” who has already “made several stays in a psychiatric hospital”. “Not on file” according to the authorities, he was also “unknown to justice” according to the public prosecutor of Nice, who does not wish to confirm “at this stage” his “complete identity”.
What are his motives ?
On Sunday, the prosecutor Xavier Bonhomme explained that “the motives for taking action” were “to date and at this time difficult to establish”. The speech of the alleged aggressor is cloudy, but the terrorist thesis was quickly dismissed. In front of the police officers who arrested him, “he spontaneously declared that he was of the Jewish faith and that on this election day [dimanche]he wanted to kill Macron and that he finally fell back on a church, ”reported a source close to the investigation.
Where is the investigation?
The National Anti-Terrorist Prosecutor’s Office has not taken up the case, the investigation, entrusted to the PJ of Nice, therefore remains under the direction of the local prosecutor’s office. If “it continues normally” this Monday, indicates the prosecutor Xavier Bonhomme, without further details, it is done for the moment without hearing the suspect. Sunday evening, his police custody was indeed lifted following his compulsory hospitalization in a psychiatric ward. “We will continue his hearing when it is lifted,” added the magistrate.