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French high school shooter was obsessed with weapons — education minister

March 16, 2017, 23:29 UTC+3 PARIS

Local prosecutor Fabienne Atzori said the shooting has nothing to do with terrorism

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PARIS, March 16. /TASS/. The student who opened fire at a high school in the southern French city of Grasse, is obsessed with weapons, French Education Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem said on Thursday after visiting the shooting site.

"He is a mentally unstable young man obsessed with weapons," she said. The minister added that that apart from eight people who were wounded in the incident, around ten more students were taken to hospital after suffering a shock and sustaining minor injuries caused by the stampede. "Fortunately, thanks to the steps taken by the headmaster and the police, we managed to avoid a serious tragedy," the minister said.

The 17-year-old student who did the shooting was eventually arrested. "Neither the police or intelligence services had any information on him before. He was this school’s student so he carried weapons to the school and opened fire," a source at the French Interior Ministry said.

Local prosecutor Fabienne Atzori said the shooting has nothing to do with terrorism.

"Nothing points to the fact that it could have been a terrorist attack," she said adding that "the reasons that led a student to open fire could be rooted in his bad relations with fellow students."

According to Atzori, an armed student first entered one of the classes "but did not open fire as he did not see those he was looking for." After that, students informed the headmaster about the armed young man. He tried to stop the student but got wounded.

The shooting took place at the Tocqueville high school in the city of Grasse, located 30 kilometers north of Nice. According to media reports, the student who opened fire was armed with a rifle, two pistols and two training grenades. Investigators believe that the young man planned to attack the headmaster but his reasons have not yet been established.

After the shooting incident, a state of emergency was declared in Grass. All educational institutions were closed. A special police unit arrived at the shooting site, however, no evidence of a planned terrorist attack has been found so far.

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