Nanterre massacre

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Nanterre massacre
Location Nanterre, France
Date March 27, 2002
1:15 a.m. (CEST)
Target Nanterre town hall
Attack type
Mass murder, Massacre
Weapons Two 9mm Glock pistols
S&W revolver (.357 Magnum)
Deaths 9 (including the perpetrator)
Non-fatal injuries
19
Perpetrator Richard Durn

The Nanterre massacre refers to an act of mass murder that occurred on March 27, 2002, in Nanterre, France. Gunman Richard Durn, 33 years old, opened fire at the end of a town council meeting, resulting in the deaths of eight councilors, and the injury of 19 others. Durn committed suicide the following day, by leaping from a police station window during questioning.

Shooting[edit]

At approximately 1:15 a.m. (CEST), at the Nanterre town hall, following a meeting of the municipal council chaired by Mayor Jacqueline Fraysse, Richard Durn rose from his seat, removed firearms previously hidden under his jacket, and opened fire. Durn killed eight councilors and injured 19 others; 14 critically, before being overpowered by Gerard Perreau-Bezouille and other councilors. Once overpowered, Durn began shouting, "Kill me!"

Following events[edit]

Durn was interrogated at the police station at 36 Quai des Orfèvres, Paris, on March 28. After confessing, Durn committed suicide by throwing himself from the fourth floor window.

Durn had sent a letter to a friend in which he explained his plan: "Because I have by my own will become a kind of living-dead, I have decided to end it all by killing a small local elite which is the symbol of, and who are the leaders and decision makers in, a city that I have always detested." He explained that he intended to kill the mayor, "and then as many people as possible [...] I will become a serial killer, a mad killer. Why? Because I am frustrated and I do not want to die alone, because I have had a shitty life. I want to feel powerful and free just once."

Perpetrator[edit]

Richard Durn

The perpetrator in the shootings was Richard Durn, 33, who was originally from Slovenia. He held a Masters degree in political science and a degree in history. According to the police, Durn was an environmental activist, and a former member of the Socialist Party before joining the Greens. He was also a member of the Ligue des droits de l'homme.

Aftermath[edit]

An official tribute was paid to the victims on April 2, in the presence of President Jacques Chirac, Prime Minister Lionel Jospin and Interior Minister Daniel Vaillant.

The massacre was discussed by French philosopher Bernard Stiegler in his book, Acting Out. Stiegler argues that Durn's feeling of non-existence was symptomatic of a society which tends to destroy the love of oneself and others, and that Durn's actions represent a "hyper-diachronic" acting out which is made possible by this feeling of non-existence.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]