Yesterday morning lieutenant – colonel Arnaud Beltrame’s funeral was held in Paris, where President Emmanuel Macron was present to commemorate the gesture of a hero.
The Gendarme, Beltrame, lost his life on March 23rd to save other people’s during a terror attack at a supermarket in the south of France.
The attack began on Friday 23rd at 10am when Radouane Ladkim, a 25-year-old Moroccan born French citizen, stopped a white Opel Corsa near Carcassonne leaving the driver Renato Silva, 26, severely injured and the passenger Jean Mazières, 61, dead.
After hijacking the car he drove 8km away to Trèbes where he entered a Super-U supermarket shouting “Allahu Akbar”, claiming he was a soldier of the so-called Islamic State.
He was armed with a gun in one hand and a knife in the other, Christian Guibbert a former police officer told the Guardian.
When the Gendarmerie tried to evacuate the supermarket, Ladkim had already taken hostages, so Lieutenant-Colonel Arnaud Beltrame bravely swapped with one of them, only known as Julie and saved her life.
Lt Col Beltrame was then stabbed several times by the terrorist and died hours later in hospital.
As he entered the room he left the phone open on the table so that the security agents could hear what was going on inside and as they heard a gunshot through the phone they entered and shot Ladkim dead.
Four people died in total: Christian Medvès, 50, who worked Super-U, Hervé Sosna, 65, who was shopping there at the time and Jean Mazières, 61, passenger of the hijacked car: other 16 people were injured.
The siege lasted over three hours and with it Ladkim was asking for Salah Abdeslam, suspect of the November 2015 attack in Paris, to be freed.
The terrorist is reported to have been under surveillance during 2016 and 2017 for his “radicalism and proximity to Salafist movements”
French President Macron paid tribute to the Gendarme with a speech where he made references to to Joan of Arc, members of the French Resistance and other heroes who died for the country.