LAST UPDATE: 22:13
A priest of a Greek Orthodox parish has been wounded in shooting in Lyon, France, as reported by international media outlets.
A suspect was arrested several hours later at a kebab shop in Lyon and placed in police custody, a police source said Reuters. There was no confirmation that the person was the suspected assailant, however, or if police were still looking for someone else.
An operation is underway in the Jean-Macé area of the 7th arrondissement of Lyon. The area has been cordoned off and security and rescue forces are on the spot.
The priest was “preparing to close his church,” the source said, adding that his condition is critical.
The priest, who was shot twice, receives first aid on the spot because he has serious injuries.
It is not yet clear which was the motivation of the attack at orthodox priest of Greek origin, said the mayor of Lyon, Grégory Doucet.
A source close to local authorities in Lyon said the prosecution had launched an investigation.
According to information from ekriti.gr, the name of the priest is Nikolaos Kakavelakis. The 52-year old priest is a theologian, historian and he teaches Byzantine History at the University of Lyon.
The last years he stays there with his family.
According to what the priest Antoine Kalo, priest of the French-speaking Orthodox Church, told protothema.gr, the forty-five-year-old Father Kakavelakis has two children, one of whom is three years old.
He also said that the Greek Orthodox community had never received threats.
The French Ministry of the Interior calls on citizens to avoid the area and follow the instructions of the authorities. It also announced an ongoing operation near the Orthodox church in Lyon.
À Lyon, un prêtre orthodoxe a été touché par balle alors qu'il fermait son église. Son pronostic vital est engagé. pic.twitter.com/x4fErqXsfE
— CNEWS (@CNEWS) October 31, 2020
? #ALERTE | Un événement est en cours à proximité du secteur Jean-Macé, dans le 7ème arrondissement à #Lyon.
Les forces de sécurité et de secours sont sur place. Un périmètre de sécurité a été installé.
⚠️ Évitez le secteur et suivez les consignes des autorités. pic.twitter.com/ZZxeTADcAF
— Ministère de l'Intérieur – Alerte (@Beauvau_Alerte) October 31, 2020
— Amichai Stein (@AmichaiStein1) October 31, 2020