|Date||March 27, 2002
1:15 a.m. (CEST)
|Target||Nanterre town hall|
|Mass murder, Massacre|
|Weapons||Two 9mm Glock pistols
Smith & Wesson revolver (.357 Magnum)
|Deaths||9 (including the perpetrator)|
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.
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!"
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."
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.
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.