An Afghan asylum-seeker who killed a man and stabbed several others in the French city of Lyon sparked a row about immigration on Sunday as new details emerged about his rampage.
Investigators said the killer appeared to have psychological problems and had smoked large quantities of cannabis before stabbing the 19-year-old man to death and injuring eight others on Saturday afternoon at a bus station in the Villeurbanne suburb.
He was found in public records with two identities and three different dates of birth, making him either 33, 31 or 27-years-old, prosecutor Nicolas Jacquet told a news conference in Lyon on Sunday.
During “confused” interviews with police, he said he was Muslim “who had heard voices saying God had been insulted and instructing him to kill,” Jacquet said, adding that the case was being treated as a criminal, rather than terrorist, incident.
Jacquet paid tribute to three bus drivers and other members of the public who had succeeded in cornering the man and persuading him to drop his knife and a meat skewer before the police arrived on the scene.
“I want to pay tribute to the actions of witnesses. Their courageous and controlled intervention was decisive in ending these criminal acts,” he added.
Sofiane, a 17-year-old from the area, told AFP on Sunday that the dead man was one of the first to try to reason with the knifeman.
The killer “stabbed him and then when he fell on the ground, he continued,” Sofiane explained.