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April 26, 2018 12:39 pm
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Shot Gun-Wielding Man Threatens Staff of Holocaust Memorial in Northwestern France

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

Mayenne, France. Photo: Daniel Jolivet via Wikicommons.

A young man described as a “nationalist” threatened the employees of the Memorial of the Deported in the French region of Mayenne on Tuesday.

The memorial is dedicated to those who died in the Holocaust.

According to Le Monde, the unidentified man entered the reception area of the museum around 3 p.m. local time and produced a shotgun that was later found to be unloaded.

He reportedly said, “This is a hostage situation.” Two employees called for help and succeeded in disarming the attacker. Police then arrived and arrested him.

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When searched, the man’s backpack was found to contain copies of several antisemitic books, including Nazi leader Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf.

The prosecutor of the case, Guirec Le Bras, said that the suspect had “regularly consulted antisemitic sites.” He described the young man as a “nationalist” who wanted to commit a “spectacular act.” He apparently planned the attack for a month.

Le Bras stated that the young man “has no criminal history, but has a psychiatric history.” Over the last two years he was involuntarily hospitalized at least twice.

The man’s psychiatric history is apparently being considered in the case. The examining magistrate said, “Given the psychiatric fragility, what remains to be verified is whether there will be a case of diminished responsibility. For now, we do not have this evidence. According to the evidence, it will be either toward diminished responsibility or a criminal prosecution.”

The man was charged with “gun violence” and “possession and transport of a prohibited weapon.” He will undergo a mandatory psychiatric examination.

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