Synagogue Arson Attempt Ends in Police Shooting

Written by Camilla Jessen

May.17 - 2024 9:46 AM CET

Photo: Gerard Bottino /
Photo: Gerard Bottino /
French police have killed a man who wanted to set fire to a synagogue in the north-western city of Rouen, France.

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In the northwestern city of Rouen, French police have shot and killed an armed man who reportedly attempted to set fire to a synagogue.

Details of the Incident

The police were alerted around 06:45 (05:45 GMT) when smoke was seen rising from the synagogue. Upon arrival, officers encountered the man, who was armed with a knife and an iron bar. When the suspect moved toward the police, one of the officers discharged their weapon, resulting in the suspect's death.

Rouen Mayor Nicolas Mayer-Rossignol stated that the attack affected not only the Jewish community but the entire city, which is now "battered and in shock."

The mayor said firefighters were on the scene working to control the fire at the synagogue. There appeared to be no victims other than the armed man, he added.

Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin praised the police "for their responsiveness and courage."

France, like the rest of Western Europe, has seen a surge in antisemitism since Hamas attacked southern Israel last October, leading to the current war in Gaza.

Recent Antisemitic Acts

Earlier this week, a memorial in Paris honoring 3,900 men and women who helped rescue Jews during the Nazi occupation of France in World War Two was defaced with red-painted hands.

President Emmanuel Macron said defacing the wall undermined the memory of France's heroes and its Holocaust victims.

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