It is an outpouring of violence that we are still trying to explain. While the "winter ball" in Crépol, near Valence (Drôme), welcomed 450 people in a village hall on the night of Saturday to Sunday, a group of individuals burst in to attack the guests. Thomas, 16, died, and several others were injured. Here's what we know about that murderous evening.
It's 2:10 a.m. on Sunday, and the ball is coming to an end. It seems that several people wanted to enter this "private party" organized in the village hall. A security guard, who forbade them to enter, was stabbed. While he was in "difficulty", people came out of the party and "a general brawl ensued", the prosecutor said.
Stabbings are exchanged without anyone knowing why. "A gang came to kill people," said Mayor Martine Lagut, quoted by the Dauphiné Libéré. According to her, "they didn't come to have fun but to do harm."
Read alsoThomas, 16, killed during a village festival in the Drôme: in Crépol, "the population is traumatized"
An investigation has been opened for "homicide and attempted homicide" "in an organized gang" and entrusted to the gendarmes, the prosecutor said.
Armed with knives, individuals attacked the guests for a reason that remains unknown. LP/Thomas Pueyo
"There was a battle between the aggressors and those who had the courage to face them," a witness told Le Parisien. It was a bloodbath, adds another. Young people from the city surrounded the village hall and planted people blindly. The bouncer had his fingers cut off. We were giving CPR to a young person on the floor. It was chaos."
What is the human toll?
At least 18 people were injured, five of them stabbed. Thomas, 16, died of a "stab wound" on the way to hospital in Lyon, according to the public prosecutor of Valence, Laurent de Caigny.
Two young men were hospitalized in an "absolute emergency," according to emergency services. One of them, aged 28, was "stabbed in the chest". The second is 23 years old. A third person, initially declared an absolute emergency, has seen his condition improve, said the firefighters, who counted 17 additional victims, suffering from bruises.
Who are the authors?
Those who disembarked at this party left before the gendarmes arrived. According to our information, they are "in the process of being identified" but they are about fifteen young people from the La Monnaie district in Romans-sur-Isère, located 20 minutes from Crépol. These young men are said to have come by car to implement what could be a settling of scores. The reasons for this brawl have yet to be identified.
According to a witness, the "assailants" did indeed come from this working-class district of Romans-sur-Isère: "We quickly spotted them because we were all well dressed for the evening and they arrived in tracksuits and TN sneakers."