Fourth victim dies in French attack as police continue hunt

Updated December 14, 2018 - 2:13 pm

STRASBOURG, France — French police have killed the man who they believed attacked Strasbourg’s Christmas market but investigators kept digging Friday for possible accomplices in a city known for a high concentration of potential extremists.

A fourth victim of Tuesday night’s attack on the biggest Christmas market in France died Friday. The dead included a Thai tourist and a 29-year-old Italian journalist. A dozen other people were wounded.

The market reopened Friday in a bid to reclaim a festive spirit after being closed for two days after the attack. French President Emmanuel Macron paid a visit, arriving after a European summit in Brussels to offer his condolences to the wounded and victims’ families and to salute security forces. He spoke with the three police officers who less than 24 hours earlier shot and killed Cherif Chekatt, the attack suspect.

For three days, Macron has faced back-to-back national emergencies, dealing with the Christmas market attack and in the midst of a month of grassroots protests over the cost of living that have grown increasingly violent and have devastated parts of the French capital.

The government has implored the French not to take to the streets Saturday, evoking the Strasbourg tragedy and the security situation that has strapped soldiers and police.

Chekatt, the 29-year-old Strasbourg native, was killed Thursday night in a confrontation with three police officers in his childhood neighborhood after a massive manhunt.

The depth of his radicalization and connections remained unclear, but his path seemed to reflect an increasingly common hybrid European extremist who moves from delinquency to sowing terror.

The Islamic State group’s Amaq news agency claimed Chekatt was a “soldier” of the group but Interior Minister Christophe Castaner rejected the claim as “totally opportunistic.”

Investigators are now trying to identify “eventual accomplices or co-authors who could have helped or encouraged him in preparing his move into action,” prosecutor Remy Heitz, in charge of terrorism cases in France, told reporters at a news conference Friday.

He said seven people were in custody, including four of Chekatt’s family members and three in his “close entourage” — two of them detained Thursday night.

“We want to reconstruct the past 48 hours in order to find out whether he got some support,” Heitz said.

The Strasbourg shooting was the latest in a series of deadly attacks that have claimed more than 200 lives in France since 2015. Like other attack sites, the Christmas market was heavy with symbolism.

“This Christmas market is part of our history. It’s part of our common events and belongs to all the French people,” Castaner said during a walk-through at its reopening. “And this morning, we wanted to show, as we walked down the lanes, that we always know how to get our head up again.”

Macron suggested while in Brussels that authorities were working to clarify why Chekatt was not stopped beforehand. He had been on a French intelligence watch list for radicalism and was convicted 27 times for criminal offenses — the first time at age 13 — mainly in France but also in Germany and Switzerland.

French police tried and failed Tuesday morning to arrest him in a case of attempted homicide.

Macron told reporters Friday in Brussels that France should look at “the consequences” of any police failures and work on “what could be improved.”

Extremism is not a new phenomenon in Strasbourg, where more than 200 people are on watch lists for potential radicalization or already radicalized, a Strasbourg police official told The Associated Press. The official spoke on condition of anonymity and that figure could not be officially confirmed.

Strasbourg’s Christmas market has been a previous target. Ten suspected Islamic militants were convicted and sentenced to prison in December 2004 for their role in a foiled plot to blow up the market on New Year’s Eve 2000.

Six youths from Strasbourg have been arrested after returning home from Middle East battle zones, part of a group of 14 reported to have left to join the jihad. As early as 2012, Strasbourg had harbored Islamic militant cells planning action elsewhere in France.

Heitz, the anti-terrorism prosecutor, provided more details about the police operation that led to Chekatt’s death Thursday evening.

He said two crucial tips came in from residents in Strasbourg’s Neudorf neighborhood. Three officers patrolling in Neudorf then spotted a man corresponding to the suspect’s description. Noticing their marked police car, the suspect tried unsuccessfully to enter a building. When police officers identified themselves, Chekatt turned abruptly and opened fire on them.

ad-high_impact_4
News
Group helping stranded motorists during power outage
A group of Good Samaritans are offering free gas to people in need at the Glendale AM/PM, during a massive power outage near Mesquite on Monday, Jan. 21, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
U.S. Sen. Jacky Rosen falls at Las Vegas parade
U.S. Sen. Jacky Rosen of Nevada fell and injured her wrist at the Martin Luther King Day parade in Las Vegas on Monday, Jan. 21, 2019. (Nathan Asselin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tate Elementary shows academic progress after categorical funding
Students at Tate Elementary in Las Vegas has benefited from a program to boost education funding in targeted student populations, known as categorical funding. One program called Zoom helps students who have fallen below grade level in reading. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Three Square helps TSA workers
Three Square Food Bank donated over 400 care bags to TSA workers affected by the government shutdown Wednesday, filled with food, personal hygiene products and water.
Las Vegas furniture store donates to Clark County firehouses
Walker Furniture donated new mattresses to all 30 Clark County firehouses in the Las Vegas Valley, starting today with Station 22. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Mount Charleston Gets Heavy Snow, Fog
Mount Charleston saw heavy snow today, and fog in lower elevations as a cold front swept across the Las Vegas Valley. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Krystal Whipple arrested in Arizona
Krystal Whipple, charged in the killing of a Las Vegas nail salon manager over a $35 manicure, is expected to return to Nevada to face a murder charge.
Holocaust survivor on acceptance
Holocaust survivor Celina Karp Biniaz, who was the youngest person on Schindler’s List, talks about the most important message for people to understand from her life and experiences.
Holocaust survivor speaks about telling her story
Holocaust survivor Celina Karp Biniaz, who was the youngest person on Schindler’s List, tells of opening up about her experiences during Sunday’s event at Temple Sinai.
Jesus Jara State of the Schools address
Clark County School District Superintendent Jesus Jara delivers his State of the Schools address on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. (Amelia Pak-Harvey/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Michael Naft sworn in to Clark County Commission
Michael Naft, chosen by Gov. Steve Sisolak to be his replacement on the Clark County Commission, was sworn into office on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019. (Shea Johnson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES Opening Party in Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace
CES conventioneers packed Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace, and let loose as they danced to DJs into the night. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Las Vegas police piecing together details of fatal shooting
Six hours after the fact, Las Vegas homicide detectives worked to reconstruct the scene of a shooting early Jan. 7 that left one man dead in the southeast valley. (Rio Lacanlale/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dyer Lawrence explains college football playoff system proposal
Las Vegan Dyer Lawrence has a new idea for a college football playoff system that includes a unique scheduling component called National Call Out Day. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Death row inmate Scott Dozier found dead in his cell
Nevada death row inmate Scott Dozier is dead. Dozier’s death ends his legal odyssey, which began in 2007 when he was convicted in the 2002 murder of Jeremiah Miller, but does little to clarify what’s next for Nevada’s death penalty.
I-15 southbound near Primm closed after ‘major crash’
A rollover crash Saturday morning involving at least nine vehicles on southbound Interstate 15 near Primm caused an hourslong traffic delay. Traffic was backed up to Sloan, live traffic cameras show. (Rio Lacanlale/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Death Valley visitors deal with shutdown
Visitors staying at the Furnace Creek Campground were forced to move from the campground following health and safety concerns due to lack of resources during the partial government shutdown at Death Valley National Park in Calif., on Friday, Jan. 4, 2019. Richard Brian Las Vegas Review-Journal @vegasphotograph
Half of homicides in Henderson for 2018 domestic violence related
Lt. Kirk Moore of the public information office of the city of Henderson police department speaks to the Review-Journal in Henderson, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019. Henderson saw a slight increase in homicides in the past year. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Governor-elect Steve Sisolak stops by Las Vegas Boys and Girls Club
Governor-elect Steve Sisolak kicks off his tour to Carson City, which will take him from Las Vegas, through Tonopah, and up to the capital city. First stop is the Downtown Boys & Girls Club.
Certificates for renewing wedding vows in Clark County
The Marriage License Bureau in Clark County began issuing a Certificate of Vow Renewal to married couples who are renewing their wedding vows on Jan. 3, 2019. (Shea Johnson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas flu season better than last year (so far)
Dr. Fermin Leguen, chief medical officer and director of clinical services at the Southern Nevada Health District, said there were 24 flu-related deaths at this point in the flu season. No deaths have been reported so far this year. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
The Las Vegas Valley’s First Baby of 2019
The first 2019 baby in the Las Vegas Valley was Melialani Chihiro Manning, born at 12:10 a.m. at Henderson Hospital. (Briana Erickson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas NYE Fireworks - VIDEO
The full show: A spectacular view from the rooftop of the Trump International Hotel as 80,000 pyrotechnics illuminated the Las Vegas Strip at the stroke of midnight. Fireworks by Grucci choreographed launches from the Stratosphere, the Venetian, Treasure Island, Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood, Aria and MGM Grand.
Snow in Henderson on New Year's Eve morning
Light snow flurries in Anthem Highlands in Henderson on Monday morning, the last day of 2018.
Sources: Henderson Constable may face more charges
Henderson Constable Earl Mitchell may face additional charges ... stemming from his spending of county funds, sources said. Mitchell was indicted earlier this month on five felony theft and fraud charges ... after a Las Vegas Review-Journal story questioned his spending. But grand jury records show even more extensive spending including ... an $800 dinner at steakhouse ... nearly 200 atm withdrawals mostly at gambling establishments ... and even Disneyland tickets. But his attorney plans to ask a judge to dismiss the charges.
Las Vegas NYE Restrictions and Enhanced Security
If you are planning to celebrate New Year's Eve on the Las Vegas Strip or Fremont Street, be aware that you are not allowed to bring backpacks, coolers, strollers or glass. There will also be an increase in security to ensure safe celebrations across town.
Catholic Charities serves up 53rd annual Christmas dinner
Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada and more than 100 volunteers served 1,000 Christmas meals to Southern Nevada's homeless and less fortunate. (K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @kmcannonphoto)
Henderson couple adds another school to their generosity
Bob and Sandy Ellis of Henderson, who donate to several Clark County School District schools, have added Matt Kelly Elementary in Las Vegas to their list of schools where every student gets new shoes, socks and a toy. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jeffrey Martin Added To Nevada's Black Book
Martin was one of four men convicted of theft and cheating at gambling in 2016 in Clark County District Court and sentenced to prison. The Nevada Gaming Commission voted unanimously Thursday to include Martin in the black book.
Raiders Stadium Timelapse
Construction on the new Raiders stadium continues in Las Vegas.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like