On this Saturday afternoon, the esplanade Laurent Bonnevay Villeurbanne (Rhone), which brings together relay park, metro station, bus station and bus lines was crowded when it was seized by stupor. At around 4:30 pm, a man came to a bus stop, waved a knife, and randomly hit people who were waiting for it. He then fled to the metro station where he was caught quickly by the passers-by and TCL (Lyon public transport) witnesses witnessed the scene.
The mayor of Villeurbanne, Jean-Paul Bret also hailed on the spot "the courage" of the people who intervened spontaneously to stop it. "These people have taken their responsibilities and it must be emphasized because this is not always the case. It was necessary to surround the person, to immobilize him ".
In a few moments, the attacker made a heavy balance sheet: one of his victims, a young man of 19 years died under his blows. The young man from Isère went to the Woodstower festival at the large Miribel Park near Lyon. Nine others were injured, three of them seriously.
"He assaulted a woman once"
What are his motives ? The confused man, who declined several identities before the investigators, is a 33-year-old Afghan asylum seeker. The Lyon public prosecutor's office was on Saturday evening in connection with the antiterrorist prosecutor's office in Paris, but there is nothing to support this view. The aggressor was obviously frequenting this district bordering Villeurbanne and Vaulx-en-Velin. On the spot, Ahmed, father of a family of about forty years a regular of the sector explains to have recognized it: "I had the opportunity to cross this man once or twice in the bus C8. He has a pretty identifiable physique. He was still tense enough and even assaulted a woman once.
On the same esplanade occupied Saturday night by the fire beacons of the fire, Samu, police, Mehdi, resident of the district tells, him, having witnessed the scene. "I was at the bus stop, in the back I saw this bearded man arrive, he had a knife big enough to kill directly with a knife. He stabbed the people who were waiting there and went back to the subway, reports the young man still in shock. I got the fright of my life ".
Not a fight
The mayor of Villeurbanne, in connection with the prosecutor indicated on the spot that this aggression "was not a fight". "These people were assaulted without premeditation but the terrorist track is neither removed nor retained," said the elected.
Since Saturday afternoon, the witnesses of the scene, TCL agents, but also users of this bus station are heard in Lyon by investigators. A psychological cell was opened by the TCL to accompany the agents extremely shocked by this attack with a knife. "We will assist our agents," said Foufyia Bouzerda, president of Sytral, the organizer of public transport. Subway and bus traffic was interrupted for a while before continuing without stopping at Laurent Bonnevay station. The network circulates, but outside this perimeter.