Saturday 25 May 2019

French police chief died by suicide after Charlie Hebdo attack

Helric Fredou, 45, the deputy director of the regional judicial police in Limoges
Helric Fredou, 45, the deputy director of the regional judicial police in Limoges

A high-ranking judicial police chief in Limoges committed suicide last Wednesday hours after being asked to file a report on the Charlie Hebdo killings, it has emerged.

Helric Fredou, 45, the deputy director of the regional judicial police in Limoges turned his gun on himself last Wednesday night, hours after Cherif and Said Kouachi killed 12 people in an Islamist rampage, including two policemen.

He had been tasked with investigating the family of one of the victims, but died before handing in the report.

He had reportedly interviewed families of Charlie Hebdo victims in the hours after the attack.

It is not known if his decision to commit suicide has any link to the Charlie Hebdo killings.

"We are all stunned. He was someone who was very humane and close to people," said Pascal Cayla of the Alliance union.

Colleagues said Mr Fredou had been deeply affected by the suicide of the number three of the Limoges judicial police in 2013 after he discovered the body. His colleague had left a note citing "personal reasons".

Since the twin attacks last week that rocked France and left 17 people dead, there has been an outpouring of support for the country's police force, which polls regularly suggest has a poor image among many French.

There were banners reading "We love the police" at Sunday's huge march in Paris and cities around France.

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