Investigators identify suspect in Paris police attack as Mickael Harpon, but unsure of motive

Oct. 4 (UPI) — Investigators in Paris are working to find a motive that might explain why a government employee stabbed four coworkers to death with a kitchen knife, authorities said Friday.

Police identified the attacker as Mickael Harpon, who was himself killed by officers to end the attack Thursday. Harpon had worked in an administrative post at Paris police headquarters for more than 15 years, officials said.

Investigators said Harpon, 45, stabbed three police officers and an administrative staff member before he was shot dead by police in the building.

Harpon’s wife was taken into custody after the attack but prosecutors said she was not arrested. Paris Police union leaders and his spouse said Harpon may have been involved in a workplace dispute.

His wife said in one report he suffered a psychotic episode in which he was incoherent and claimed to hear voices the night before the killings.

French President Emmanuel Macron visited police headquarters Thursday with Prime Minister Edouard Phillippe, Interior Minister Christophe Castaner and Deputy Interior Minister Laurent Nunez.

“On the face of it, he looked a model employee,” Castaner said, adding there were no warning signs.

Officials said Harpon, who had a hearing and a speech disability, converted to Islam 18 months ago, but a French government spokesman said there was no evidence he’d been radicalized.

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