Could worse things be prevented thanks to him? A young pilgrim stood in the way of Annacy's knife ringer. He didn't think about his own safety until later.
Annecy – France is still in shock after a man stabbed a man on a playground on Thursday (8 June). Four people were injured, including three children between the ages of 22 months and three years, as well as an adult. But the horrific story also has a hero: a 24-year-old named Henri. It is probably thanks to him that there were no more victims.
Knife attack in France: Pilgrim drives away armed attacker – "I acted instinctively"
French media, citing videos of the attack, reported that the man, who was traveling with two backpacks, drove the perpetrator away from the playground. An eyewitness video shows Henri taking off the larger of the two backpacks in pursuit of the attacker. "I really acted instinctively," the young man, who was quickly located, told CNews the next day.
Although the attacker had tried to injure him as well, it was unthinkable for Henri to do nothing. "I was afraid for my life," admits the 24-year-old, who is known in the media as a "hero with a backpack" due to his courageous intervention in France. "But above all, I was afraid for the lives of others," says the young man. It was only later, when the stress had subsided, that he realized how dangerous his actions could have become for himself.
24-year-old earns praise for civil courage in knife attack on playground in France
"I had the impression that the man was completely crazy and possessed by something evil," Henri told broadcaster LCI. The fact that he was there was a coincidence. He is currently touring the country to visit various cathedrals. On his Facebook profile, in addition to photos from his trip, there are also a number of comments from people thanking him.
"Hero or guardian angel, I don't know how to describe you exactly, but so much courage and determination deserves the greatest respect. Thank you, Mr. Henri," one man wrote on Henri's Facebook wall. Without further ado, the man invites the young pilgrim, who describes himself on Facebook as a philosopher and explorer, to visit the basilica from his homeland in the north of France. In Germany, too, users express their gratitude and appreciation to him on social media.
Knife attack in France: President Macron visited the victims of Annecy
Henri also deserves thanks from French President Emmanuel Macron, who personally visited both the injured victims and the helpers. "Attacking children is the most inhumane act there is," Macron said after the terrible knife attack, in which two children and an adult were critically injured. Investigators are still looking for answers to the motive. A religious act was possible, according to media reports, the attacker suffered from severe depression. The man was caught shortly after the attack and is in custody for attempted murder. (rku/dpa)