Race rioters rammed a flaming car into the home of a conservative mayor in the Paris suburb of L’Haÿ-les-Roses early Sunday morning while he was still working at the besieged city hall. Mayor Vincent Jeanbrun's wife heroically saved their two young children and mounted a successful escape, but did not make it out unscathed.
French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin confirmed
that Jeanbrun and his family were targeted by a "cowardly and terrible attack," indicating that an attempted murder investigation is under way.
"The perpetrators ... will answer for their heinous acts," said Darmanin.
What's the background?
TheBlaze previously reported
that France, presently on its fifth republic since 1792, has been ravaged by race riots, looting
, and firebombings
, most recently as the result of a police-involved shooting of a 17-year-old motorist of North African descent on June 27.
The decedent, Nahel Merbouz, allegedly sped through a red light and into a traffic jam in the Paris suburb of Nanterre, where he apparently refused to comply with orders to stop his rental car.
In a video
of the incident, Merbouz, who previously had run-ins with the law over his "refusal to comply," appears to disregard law enforcement orders, raise his voice, then veer forward, at which point one officer opens fire.
The French police officers allegedly responsible — within their rights to open fire if their lives are at risk or if otherwise "unable to stop a vehicle whose driver has ignored an order to stop and whose occupants are likely to pose a risk to their life or physical safety, or other people’s" — indicated they feared for the safety of pedestrians and cyclists, especially as Merbouz had previously ignored their warnings, refused to stop, and had rushed down a bus lane.
While Nahel hit the gas while one of the officers was ostensibly leaning on the hood of the vehicle, the media and prosecutors have claimed he had not tried to run them over.
Just hours after the news of the shooting went viral, rioters kicked off an impromptu reign of terror, which has resulted in at least one death: a 24-year-old firefighter
who perished Sunday fighting a blaze in Saint-Denis.
One of the country's biggest libraries, which contained a wealth of cultural artifacts, including but not limited to millions of books, was similarly burned to the ground.
By Friday. the government committed a force of 40,000 police to restore order. While the police were dispatched, peace has yet to come.
Merbouz's grandmother said in an interview on French TV, "They’re using Nahel as a pretext. Stop smashing the windows, the buses, the schools. We want to calm things down. We don’t want them to destroy things, we want them to stay calm, these people."
Race rioters out for blood
Mayor Jeanbrun, 39, the conservative mayor of L’Haÿ-les-Roses, a town of 30,000, was working late Saturday night at the burned-out
town hall, which had been besieged like others throughout the region in recent days, reported
The mayor had noted that the previous night, national police were busy defending the town's police station, leaving only seven municipal police officers to contend with the rioters committed to wanton destruction and mayhem.
Footage shows rioters attempting to steal past barbed-wire fences to get into the town hall:
While Jeanbrun was at work, his wife, Melanie, and his daughters, ages 5 and 7, were at home, sleeping.
"At 1:30 a.m., while I was at the city hall like the past three nights, individuals rammed their car upon my residence before setting fire to it to burn my house, inside which my wife and my two young children slept," said
Mayor Vincent Jeanbrun. "While attempting to shield them and fleeing the attackers, my wife and one of my children were hurt."
The Telegraph reported
that the terrorists responsible not only rammed the house with a flaming car, but set the family car ablaze and shot incendiary devices at the mother and her young daughters as they attempted to flee.
The would-be assassins reportedly chased the mother and her young girls behind the house and into the garden.
While Melanie suffered a broken leg in the process, she still managed to hoist her children over the wall separating her garden from her neighbor's back yard, then get them to safety.
“It was an unspeakable, cowardly assassination attempt," added Jeanbrun.
A local prosecutor indicated a plastic bottle was found at the scene filled with fuel.
The terrorists were thwarted in their attempt to bring the whole house down in part by a low retaining wall that prevented the car from penetrating the exterior.
"Given the gravity of the situation, the prosecutor’s office has chosen to qualify this act as an assassination attempt and everything will be done to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice," said Stephane Hardoin, the prosecutor for L’Haÿ-les-Roses.
In a statement after the assassination attempt, Jeanbrun said, "Last night, a milestone was reached in horror and ignominy. My home was attacked and my family was the victim of an assassination attempt. My determination to protect and serve the Republic is greater than ever. I will not back down."
Jeanbrun noted on Twitter that upon returning home to smoldering ruin, he was "treated to a particularly warm welcoming committee of L'Haÿssiens students. ... It gives balm to the heart, the words escape me."
The students can be heard in the video captured by the mayor calling out his name and yelling, "He is alive."
Like Blaze News? Bypass the censors, sign up for our newsletters, and get stories like this direct to your inbox. Sign up here!