After the horror, the reconstruction, the heroes, the witnesses and the trip of President Emmanuel Macron to Annecy and Grenoble with Brigitte, the first lady, to visit the wounded, recently operated children and their families, after the knife attack at the hands of a Syrian refugee, on Thursday. France remains in a state of shock.
The refugee who attacked babies in an Annecy park was examined by psychiatrists on Friday morning, after 24 hours of "excitement", which forced a doctor to be summoned and prevented him from testifying. His state of health "is compatible with the police custody regime," which was extended.
Dozens of television networks from around the world have arrived in Annecy and broadcast from Paquien Park, the site of the tragedy, which has been reopened, facing the lake.
President Emmanuel Macron's visit to Annecy and Grenoble with Brigitte, the first lady. Photo: Reuters
All children operated on
"I am closely monitoring the health status of the victims," Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said Friday morning, saying simply that "their condition is stable." "Fortunately, all the injured children were able to be operated on," he added.
One of them, a Dutch national, was transferred to the University Hospital of Geneva, which is 40 kilometers from Annecy or 10 minutes by helicopter. The others are in Grenoble.
The president with the victims
Emmanuel Macron and his wife arrived around 10 a.m. in Grenoble, where three of the four children injured in the attack are hospitalized. Ennio and Alba, his cousin, 2 years old, are in the pediatric surgery service. Initially in "absolute emergency," his condition is now stabilized.
The head of state met with the victims and their families. And then he decided that he would also talk to all the people who contribute to his help and support.
In every tragedy there are heroes. The two park employees, who dared to run after the attacker, who was going with his knife in his hand.
Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte meet with the rescuers who helped the victims of the attack. Photo: Reuters
Or Henry, the Catholic who went all over France to visit, on a nine-month tour of its cathedrals and churches, and dared to run and throw his backpack at the attacker to try to disarm him, despite threats with the knife.
Henry was scheduled to meet Macron on Friday afternoon in Annecy.
Invited to Cnews, Henri, 24, nicknamed the "hero of the backpacks", felt that he was not in the route of the aggressor by "chance". He says he "crossed the path of blood" and was "pushed to act," without directly mentioning a divine influence.
"I acted instinctively, as every Frenchman should do. It was unthinkable to sit idly by. I feared for my life, but most of all I feared for the lives of others," she said.
"This is a deeply anti-Christian attack," he said.
A horror that left four little ones injured, between 22 months to 3 years, in a state of "absolute urgency"
Witnesses to the attack
A video shows the attack, mind-blowing and fast. In shorts and with a bandana on his head, the Syrian refugee jumped a barrier, ran around the park's play area, attacked a baby carriage with his knife, repeating "in Jesus' name."
Some men tried to stop him. Henry chased after him and protected his chest with the backpack. "Help me control it," he shouted.
Anthony Le Tallec had gone for a run like every day. He is a former player for British club Liverpool.
"I walk away and see him attacking grandmothers and grandfathers. And there, he attacked the grandfather. He stabbed him once. The police were 5 or 10 meters away and did not reach him. "Throw him, kill him. He's going to stab everybody. The (assailant) attacked once, twice, and they started shooting. But the grandfather had already been touched," said the former footballer.
One of the adults was shot and wounded by police. An investigation was opened into how he was injured.
A kindergarten in the vicinity of the park would have been a goal. The boys were confined between 10 a.m. and 11:20 a.m., the time of the attack. Then they notified the parents, to come and get them.
Throughout the day, police tried to find the reasons for the attack. An explanation for the horror of a refugee, whose asylum had been rejected 4 days earlier in France because he was already an asylum seeker in Sweden, where he had lived since 2013.
In Annecy he had been living on the streets since October. He went to bed early on cardboard, covered by a duvet, out in the open. He has a Swedish ex-wife and a 3-year-old daughter.
In Annecy, he settled during the day in the Bonlieu cultural center: alone, with his telephone. He didn't talk to anyone but looked at everyone with his disturbing, disturbing black eyes. He was not aggressive, but in the center he was considered dangerous. He didn't drink alcohol or drugs.
Flowers, balloons and stuffed animals, at the scene in Annecy. Photo: Olivier Chassignole / AFP
Lisa Nonet Mathis, the public prosecutor in Annecy, said the attacker "had no known judicial or psychiatric record." Nor at this stage of the investigation is there an apparent terrorist motive," he said.
"We have no more contact. He went to France because he could not obtain Swedish nationality, in an exile that I did not want to share. He told me he lived in a church. He was a Christian from the East," his Swedish ex-wife told Libération newspaper.
According to residents of rue Royal in Annecy, the attacker lived in the lobby of a building, open between two boutiques, after two or three months.
"He was always polite, he said good day. He arrived at 19:30 p.m. and left at 8 a.m. so as not to bother us. We offered him food. He never accepted. He went to bed early, brushed his teeth. He didn't make noise or drink. He was super clean, neat, organized all his things, looked like a military man. But on Wednesday, for the first time, he was responding to nothing. He was in a strange state," said a neighbor of the bar.
Psychologists and psychoanalysts recommend that parents talk about the tragedy with their children, fear, what they saw, what they tell them at school. It will be the only way to keep the ghosts away.
As the attacker was a refugee, the far right has begun its political recovery.
"I don't understand when we are in a moment of emotion, of shock, that everyone begins to indulge in a game that seems unhealthy to me," government spokesman Olivier Véran said.
The right and the extreme right attacked the profile of the aggressor.