A man shot dead by police at Orly airport this morning sent a chilling last text to his family.
The man, who has been identified as Ziyed Ben Belgacem, sent a message to his father after shooting a female police officer in the face during a routine traffic stop in the northern outskirts of Paris.
Just two hours later Belgacem was fatally wounded himself in a shootout when he attempted to steal an automatic rifle from a patrolling female soldier at the Parisian airport.
— Le Parisien (@le_Parisien) March 18, 2017
Police uncovered a horrifying admission of guilt from Belgacem, a 39-year-old French national, during a raid of his home in Garges-les-Gonesse, a Paris suburb.
Belgacem’s father and brother were detained, which the authorities has since dubbed ‘standard procedure’, reports the Mirror.
The message was sent to his father’s phone, and subsequently reported by French channel, BFM TV.
— Tids (@Tids_tweet) March 18, 2017
Belgacem’s final message simply read:
I’ve screwed up, I’ve shot a policeman.
The 39-year-old fled the scene in a vehicle, ditching it and carjacking a woman at gunpoint. He then drove to Orly airport where he was shot dead.
[#Orly] On going police operation. Please respect the safety perimeter and avoid the airport area.
— Police Nationale (@PoliceNationale) March 18, 2017
The attacker approached three patrol members of the French Air Force and wrestled a female soldier to the ground as he tried to seize her weapon.
She held on and the other two soldiers opened fire.
The airport was subsequently evacuated calmly, according to reports.
French officials claim the man had been on a terror watch list and was known to intelligence services.
Terror is being investigated as a potential motive.