PARIS (AA) – A French police commander and his wife were killed Monday in an apparent attack claimed by Daesh.
The officer who was named in French media as Jean-Baptiste Salvaing, 42, worked as an assistant chief in the district of Les Mureaux and was reportedly wearing civilian clothes at the time of the attack that was carried out by a neighbor.
Interior ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said the suspect stubbed Salvaing several times before entering to his home and taking his family hostage in the Magnanville commune in the Yvelines department southwest of Paris.
Raid special forces arrived at the scene around 09.30 pm local time (0700 GMT) in an attempt to negotiate with the suspect, but talks failed, according to Brandet, forcing Raid and other special forces to storm the house around midnight.
Special forces shot the attacker but found the policeman’s partner dead and were able to rescue the couple’s three-year-old son.
“The toll is a heavy one,” Brandet told reporters at the scene. “This commander, this police officer was killed by the individual … [and] we discovered the body of a woman. The assailant, the criminal, was killed. Thankfully a little boy was saved. He was in the house. He’s safe and sound. He was saved by police officers.”
French media quoted the Daesh-linked Amaq News Agency as saying on its Telegram channels that “Islamic State fighter kills deputy chief of the police station in the city of Les Mureaux and his wife with blade weapons near Paris.”
French interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve said in a statement that an anti-terror probe had been launched into the attack.
Cazeneuve, expressed his “infinite sadness” at the death of the commander and his partner, who had worked for his ministry.
“The attacker was neutralized by Raid forces, who showed great composure and great professionalism and who saved the couple’s little boy,” according to Cazeneuve. “The inquiry opened by the justice authorities will establish the precise circumstances of this tragedy.”
Versailles prosecutor, Vincent Lesclous who said he knew the slain commander, was cautious about drawing conclusions about the attack. “The investigation is beginning. We have no serious [indication] on the motivation behind this act.”
President Francois Hollande condemned the “odious act” and said a meeting would be held at the presidential palace Tuesday morning and promised that “all light will be shed” on the case.
“Light will be shed on the circumstances of this abominable drama whose investigation, under the authority of justice, will determine the exact nature,” he said in a statement.
France has been under a state of emergency since 130 victims were killed in terror attacks in Paris in November.