Investigators are still looking for this man, suspected of having fatally injured a police sergeant, before fleeing with an accomplice, Wednesday evening, near a deal point in downtown Avignon (Vaucluse ).
"The murderer of Brigadier Eric Masson has not yet been arrested, but all means will be implemented to this end", assured Thursday evening the prosecutor of Avignon Philippe Guémas, during a press conference, formalizing the name of this policeman killed by bullets, pacsé and father of two children.
Read alsoPolice officer killed in Avignon: the anger and disgust of the police
The police are linked to the testimony of a young woman, arrested Thursday because of her presence the day before around the point of the deal where the violent intervention took place.
"A person is in custody, the drug addict woman that the brigadier had just checked, and her hearing is still in progress," the magistrate said Thursday afternoon, without indicating whether or not she had made it possible to identify the fugitive. .
"The individual took out a handgun and fired twice"
On Wednesday evening, the police from the Vaucluse-Gard departmental intervention brigade, who had returned from an intervention in civilian clothes, had, around 6.30 pm, been called on a "stup plan" well known locally, in the heart of the City of the Popes, after a complaint from residents.
Eric Masson and his colleagues, on their arrival, found the place calm, but decided to proceed with the surveillance of the point of sale.
It was after having followed the arrested client with a colleague, "of what looked like an exchange of drugs" in a neighboring street, that Brigadier Masson was shot.
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While the woman had just been arrested by the two policemen, "two individuals came forward (...) and one of the two, carrying a satchel, (them) asked what they were doing there", explained Philippe Guémas: "Eric Masson declined his quality of police officer and the individual took out a handgun and fired twice, hitting him in the thorax and the abdomen".
A family of policemen
Eric Masson's colleague fired two shots in turn, without being able to prevent the shooter from running away with his accomplice.
The sergeant died on the spot a few minutes later.
Insisting that the two police officers had their police armbands in their hands and had clearly stated their status, the Avignon prosecutor did not give further details on the investigation.
The victim was a 36-year-old police sergeant with two children.
He died despite the intervention of his colleagues in the research and intervention group and the firefighters who tried to give him a cardiac massage.
Eric Masson was a 36-year-old brigadier, father of two children.
AFP PHOTO / DDSP 84 -
Eric Masson was a police officer, like his brother and sister, officiating them in Île-de-France.
The thirty-something had notably worked at the Chennevières Anti-Crime Brigade, in Val-de-Marne, before joining Avignon.
Camille Chaize, the spokesperson for the Ministry of the Interior, on Franceinfo hailed “the model career” of this sergeant, “from a family of police officers”.
A “citizens' march” on May 19 in Paris
In an interview given to Le Figaro this Friday, the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, present in Avignon on Wednesday evening, declared himself convinced that in "the war" waged against trafficking, the police were " in the process of regaining ground against the traffickers ”. But "this assassination unfortunately shows that, affected in the heart of their traffic, the dealers are destabilized and try to impress us", he added, after affirming the day before that he would "obviously preside over the funeral" of Eric Masson.
This tragedy, which occurs ten days after the assassination of a police officer in an "Islamist" attack according to the national anti-terrorism prosecution, in the Rambouillet police station, has aroused strong reactions.
According to figures from the Ministry of the Interior, 18 police officers and gendarmes lost their lives on duty in 2020, including 11 on mission.
In an almost unprecedented step, all the police unions called Thursday for a "citizens' march" on May 19 in Paris, after a tribute to their colleague Sunday in Avignon.