What we know about the double attempted infanticide in Paris

What we know about the double attempted infanticide in Paris
What we know about the double attempted infanticide in Paris

Two children are in critical condition after being thrown out of a window by their father in Paris’ 14th arrondissement on Saturday, July 6, early in the evening. Here is what we know about the tragedy.

Local residents describe a “surreal” scene, particularly “shocking”. Incomprehension and shock continue in the 14th arrondissement of Paris, after a man threw his two children out of the window of his apartment on the fifth floor of a building, before killing himself by jumping into the void.

• The vital prognoses of the two children involved

The drama that unfolded in the capital begins this Saturday, July 6 at 8:30 p.m., as initially revealed by Valeurs Actuelles and Le Parisien. Emergency services are dispatched to the Auguste Renoir square, located in the 14th arrondissement of Paris.

On site, at the foot of this complex of buildings, two children aged 2 and 5 and a man were found on the ground. Two witnesses told AFP that the two young victims fell from a building onto a lawn located on the esplanade of this large residence composed in particular of social housing. According to one of these witnesses, children were playing in the square at the time of the tragedy.

The two children were seriously injured, with their life-threatening prognosis according to the Paris prosecutor’s office, and were taken to Necker Hospital. The man died.

• The father threw the children out of a window before committing suicide

“We heard noises, screams,” said Sophie, a restaurateur who lives in a tower block nearby. “At that moment you see someone lying on the ground on the asphalt, a child on the ground, the second one over there,” she continued, pointing to the scene. “It’s surreal.”

Speaking to our colleagues at Le Parisien, the neighbour of the apartment located below the accommodation where the tragedy took place explained that she first heard screams, particularly those of the mother of the two children.

“She screamed very loudly the first time,” she told the Parisian daily. “Then a second time. I understood that something was wrong, so I ran to the door of their apartment.”

The woman who lives on the fourth floor of the building says she then rushed to the apartment on the fifth floor. It took the children’s mother several minutes to open the door. “Her nose is bleeding. It’s running down her chest. She tells me that François hit her, that he then threw the children out the window before jumping in turn,” she continues.

According to her account, her 10-year-old son saw the entire scene of horror. “When I stuck my head out to look, I saw the tallest one on the ground,” the schoolboy said. “Then I saw the smallest one fall into the void. (…) And two seconds later, I saw the father jump,” the boy said. Céline said she then ran down the stairs of the building to help the victims. “The children remained lucid until help arrived,” she confirmed.

• The tragedy occurs in a context of violence

According to the initial elements of the investigation, the double attempted infanticide occurred in the context of domestic and intra-family violence. The tragedy allegedly occurred following an argument between the 49-year-old father and his partner.

According to a neighbor on the sixth floor of the building, the family had moved there “barely a year ago.” The man “was always smiling, he put his little girl on his back, we saw each other at the park, we said hello,” confided this 19-year-old woman. She says she never “heard anything” of the possible arguments between the couple.

“That’s what’s actually shocking: we saw him smile, but we didn’t know that behind his smiles, something like that was hidden,” she says.

According to testimonies collected by Le Parisien, the father of the family, an “engineer” according to his statements to the neighbors, was perceived as “lonely” and “often took care of the children”. Another neighbor mentions “problems of jealousy” on his part.

The investigations, which will have to determine with greater precision the context in which the tragedy took place, have been entrusted to the brigade for the protection of minors of the Paris police prefecture (DRPJ). The public prosecutor has opened an investigation for “attempted murder of minors under 15 years old (concerning the two children) and to search for the causes of death (concerning their father)”.

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