The town of Grasse is known as the perfume capital of the world but on Thursday, it received international media attention for a shockingly different reason.
Romain Serigne, Director of Communication of the Academy of Nice, recounted the yesterday’s events to Monaco Life; “A 17-year-old student from the Lycée Tocqueville arrived at the high school midday, armed, and entered the institution, wounding three people including the headmaster, who was hospitalised.
“A safety plan, known as Le Plan Particulier de Mise en Sûreté (PPMS) was implemented at once, which led to the lockdown of all secondary schools in Grasse.
“Other students, those tetanised or shocked, went to the hospital in Grasse.
“Security forces arrested the aggressor very quickly and the school was secure. All pupils and staff of the lycée had been evacuated and a crisis unit was immediately put into place.
“Around 3:50, the lockdown of Grasse schools was lifted, except for the Lycée Tocqueville. At that time, the rectorate was on the scene in Grasse, the Minister of Education had arrived.”
The Grasse prosecutor stated Thursday, Kylian, the presumed shooter, “entered the Grasse premises around 12:55 pm, in possession of a shotgun, cartridges, several handguns and an exercise grenade”.
BFM-TV reported the presumed shooter, the son of a councillor in Grasse, was arrested without resistance within 5 minutes after the attack at the technical school, which reportedly started at 1 pm.
According to BFMTV, who somehow managed Thursday to access the suspect’s social media accounts, the alleged suspect was “particularly interested in mass-produced weapons and serial killers”, regularly looking at videos online of mass killings, including the 1999 Columbine School massacre, when 12 students and one teacher were killed.
It was a day of high alert for France. In addition to the Tocqueville shooting, a letter bomb injured a female employee at the International Monetary Fund in Paris. Opening a letter sent from Greece, the secretary suffered injuries to her face and arms when a bomb blew up, as Paris police chief Michel Cadot described to reporters, “like a firecracker”.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but French President Francois Hollande said authorities would go “all the way” to find those accountable.
In other school related news, a case of pulmonary tuberculosis at the Centre International School of Valbonne (CIV) was reported on March 15 after a patient was admitted to the Center Hospitalier d’Antibes on February 27. Test results show that the student has a non-resistant form of pulmonary tuberculosis, but an information session with doctors, CIV students and employees will be organised for Monday, March 20 to discuss the situation.