Paris: A French police officer who volunteered to trade places with a hostage during a terror attack involving a standoff in a supermarket has died of his injuries.
French Interior Minister Gérard Collomb said on Twitter Saturday morning that the lieutenant colonel who was seriously injured, Arnaud Beltrame, died. “France will never forget his heroism, bravery and sacrifice,” Collomb said in the tweet, according to a translation by Reuters.Arnaud Beltrame, a lieutenant-colonel in the gendarmerie, was hailed a hero after the attacker – who killed four people in a shooting spree – was shot dead by police.
He was among the officers who rushed to the scene when the assailant stormed the store in the southwest town of Trèbes, firing on shoppers and staff before taking a hostage. Gérard Collomb, the interior minister, announced early on Saturday that Mr Beltrame had passed away after he was reportedly hit by several bullets and one injury to the throat.
The 25-year-old suspected attacker stole a car, opened fire at police and then took hostages before he was fatally shot on Friday, authorities said. Three other people were killed and more than a dozen others were wounded in the attack, according to officials. Beltrame’s death raises the total of those killed in the attack to four.
“He saved lives and honoured his colleagues and his country,” President Macron said of the officer. The killings began at around 10:30 a.m. local time (5:30 a.m. ET), when police say Lakdim attacked two people and stole a car, leaving the passenger dead and the driver injured.Collomb previously identified the slain suspect as Redouane Lakdim, who he said acted alone. Officers shot and killed Lakdim after storming the supermarket, Collomb said earlier.