A man cries outside the Emanuel Synagogue as police stand on the ground in central Paris, France, February 11, 2016. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
PARIS (Reuters) – Alexandre Benalla, the policeman who wrestled a gunman at a kosher supermarket after he shot and killed five people on Jan. 8, 2015, recalled on Wednesday how he aimed his gun at a man who ducked behind a car with his face uncovered.
Le Parisien newspaper, quoting the police officer, said Benalla thought his gun might have been pointed directly at a shop’s window when the gunman shot at it as it stood under the centre aisle.
In the aftershock of the shooting, Benalla got on the street and encountered Serge Klarsfeld, an investment manager who hid behind a car with his face covered by a hood.
Klarsfeld also survived by hiding under the driver’s seat. He told the police that Benalla – who was fired from the French air force as a result of the incident – was “absolutely psychotic”.Asked on France Info radio whether he had ever fired a gun in his life, Benalla replied: “In this case there was the chance. I don’t want to dwell on it. Let’s just move on.”
Benalla, on trial for murder, but not attempted murder, said Klarsfeld was “incredibly confused”. Benalla said the gunman had aroused his suspicion by speaking of his wanting to kill Jews and was waiting for “the moment”, the station reported.