LAST UPDATE: 18:09
The person who was arrested yesterday as a suspect in the attack against the Greek Orthodox priest Nikolas Kakavelakis in Lyon was released this afternoon, the prosecutor’s office announced.
“There is no evidence” that this person was involved in the case, the prosecutor’s office explained, adding that the state of health did not justify extending his detention. The doctor who examined him decided that he should be taken to a psychiatric clinic.
The suspect, a homeless man, was arrested shortly after the shooting in another district of Lyon. However, no weapon was found.
The priest is being treated in a serious condition.
It is reminded that the suspect had been arrested after a Greek Orthodox priest was wounded in shooting in Lyon, France, yesterday, according to a police source.
The source could not confirm whether the arrested was the assailant.
The perpetrator fled following the shooting outside the church, police said earlier. Local authorities and the prosecutor’s office said that the motive for the attack remained unclear.
It is not yet clear why the assailant shot the Greek Orthodox in Lyon yesterday, said on TV the Mayor of Lyon, Grégory Doucet.
Je me félicite de l’excellente coordination entre la #PoliceMunicipale, la @PoliceNat69, les services de #secours, et l’opération #Sentinelle qui ont fait preuve d'un professionnalisme exemplaire pour sécuriser la zone et prendre en charge rapidement la victime.
— Grégory Doucet (@Gregorydoucet) October 31, 2020
A source close to the local prosecutors in Lyon said that the prosecutor’s office had launched an investigation into the assassination attempt.
Police have launched a manhunt to locate the assailant who shot and injured 52-year-old priest Nikolaos Kakavelakis, as reported by Reuters.
During his visit to Rouen and Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray in northwestern France, French Prime Minister Jean Castex said the government was determined to allow “each and everyone to practice their worship in complete safety and in complete freedom.”
“Our will is strong: our determination will remain undiminished, it is the honor of France, it is the honor of the Republic,” he said.
— Gouvernement (@gouvernementFR) October 31, 2020
The incident comes three days after the three people were killed in a stabbing attack at Notre-Dame de Nice by an armed Islamist, the perpetrator of the attack.
Earlier, the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, condemned the attack in Lyon.
“We condemn this new heinous act in Lyon,” said Charles Michel, adding that “all our thoughts are with the priest who is between life and death.”
“In Europe freedom of conscience is guaranteed for all and must be respected, violence is intolerable and condemnable,” said Charles Michel.
Nous condamnons ce nouvel acte abominable à #Lyon
Toutes nos pensées pour le prêtre qui est entre la vie et la mort
— Charles Michel (@eucopresident) October 31, 2020