By Hajer M’tiri
PARIS (AA): A French prosecutor has ruled out any terror motive in Thursday’s high-school shooting in the south of the country.
At least eight people were injured when a gunman opened fire at the Alexis de Tocqueville high school in the southern town of Grasse, a spokesman for the country’s Interior Ministry said.
The school’s principal and two other teachers suffered gunshot wounds. Another five people were injured during a stampede following the gunfire, according to a ministry statement.
Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said the attacker — a 17-year-old student attending the high school — had been arrested. It is not thought he was known to police or the intelligence services.
Grasse prosecutor, Fabienne Atzori later excluded any terrorist involvement and said the motives of the shooter “seem to be related to the bad relations he has with other students” at the school.
“No element, no link can be envisaged with a terrorist group,” Atzori added.
Several media outlets reported the youth was armed with a rifle, two handguns and two grenades.
Brandet also said there was no confirmation of reports that a second individual had been involved in the attack and was now on the run.
The attack occurred at around 1.30 p.m. (1230GMT).
France’s RAID special police unit was immediately dispatched to the school.
Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve and Education Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem visited the scene.
Investigators said he was obsessed with guns and had relationship problems, and the incident was not apparently terror-related. The name of the suspect, a minor, has not been disclosed.
Education Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem said “heroic” actions by the school’s head teacher appeared to have helped prevent greater bloodshed.
The head teacher rushed towards the pupil as he pulled out his guns “to try to reason with him,” Vallaud-Belkacem said, adding that the educator was injured in the process. “We avoided the worst,” she said.
She also said he had difficult in integrating.
The suspect had shared pictures and videos on social media of infamous US school shootings, including the 1999 Columbine massacre in Littleton, Colorado, in which two teens killed 13 people before committing suicide.
Additional report from The Muslim News and AFP
[Map of France by Bald Boris./Free Art License]