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Karim Cheurfi, Paris shooter, previously tried killing cops

New York Daily News logo New York Daily News 2017-04-21 TERENCE CULLEN

Karim Cheurfi — the suspect in Thursday’s shooting attack in Paris — had a history of targeting police long before he killed one officer and injuring another, officials said.

Prosecutors said Cheurfi, 39, opened fired on a group of cops at the Champs-Élysées with an AK-47, killing officer Xavier Jugelé. A note praising ISIS and listing security sites fell out of his jacket as police pursued and shot him, officials said.

This wasn’t his first run-in with French authorities, however.

He had done multiple stints in jail over the last 15 years for attempted homicide, robbery and other violence-related charges.  

Cheurfi had previously been convicted for trying to kill police officers in 2001, officials said Friday.

During one stint, he shot and injured a prison guard after grabbing his gun, Sky News reported.

Karim Cheurfi is believed to have carried out the attack. - Uncredited/AP © Provided by New York Daily News Karim Cheurfi is believed to have carried out the attack. - Uncredited/AP

Two years were tacked on to his sentence as a result, according to Sky News, and Cheurfi was released on parole in 2015.

Jean-Laurent Panier, his former lawyer, told French channel BFM-TV that Cheurfi was an "extremely isolated" person and probably needed psychological help. 

Cheurfi, he added, never discussed religion, and that “his only conversations were about how to fill his daily life with video games.”

The resident of the east Paris suburbs was brought in for questioning this February, French prosecutor Francois Molins said Friday.

He was taken to a police station outside of Paris after sources said he was "seeking to obtain weapons to kill policemen," according to The Telegraph.

Cheurfi was later freed by police, Molins said, because there wasn’t enough evidence that he posed a threat.

On Friday, cops raided his home in Chelles, France.

“I don’t know anyone here who could just lose it and do this kind of thing,” a neighbor told Sky News. “I never noticed anything abnormal about the guy. And this was a guy who was very closed off and was not someone who looked for problems.”

Three of his relatives were also brought in for questioning early Friday, but police said that was a routine procedure.

ISIS claimed credit for the attack, and referred to him as Abu Yousif al-Belgiki, which roughly translates from Arabic as “the Belgian.”

Belgian Interior Minister Jan Jambon quickly refuted the claim that he was from the country.

“What we can confirm, is that the perpetrator was a French national," he told Belgian public broadcasting channel VRT on Friday.

With News Wire Services


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