French teacher stabbed to death in classroom by ‘possessed’ 16-year-old student: police
Officials said a 16-year-old French high school student who claims he is “possessed” and hears voices stabbed to death his Spanish teacher in class on Wednesday.
The deadly attack took place at St. Thomas Aquinas, a private Catholic school in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, an elite resort town in southwestern France.
The victim was a 54-year-old teacher identified by French news outlets as Agnes Lassalle.
Bayonne prosecutor Jerome Bourier said the teen suspect was taken into custody and questioned by investigators on Wednesday.
A criminal case has been opened on the fact of premeditated murder.
Bourrier added that the 16-year-old student had no prior interaction with the police or the justice system.
A senior government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said early details released by police suggest the teen has serious mental health issues.
After being stabbed, the boy, whose name has not been publicly released, allegedly told another teacher that he was possessed and heard voices ordering him to kill his teacher.
According to local newspaper Sud Ouest, two students who witnessed the stabbings said the suspect got up and walked to the door before turning around and plunging a large knife into the teacher’s chest.
Other witnesses who spoke to the press said the underage attacker appeared calm and said nothing.
French Education Minister Pape Ndiaye, speaking at the school, said that about 90 students, including those who witnessed the bloody attack, as well as some teachers, are receiving psychological help.
On Thursday afternoon, a minute of silence will be observed in all French schools in honor of Lassalle. The teacher has been working at the school since 1997.
“There was no reason to think that such a terrible tragedy could happen here. It is a very calm school, known for its seriousness and serenity,” said Ndiaye.
With mail wires
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