youth violence

Two brothers face judge over murder of teenager in Paris suburb

A general view of part of the north Paris suburb of Bondy.
A general view of part of the north Paris suburb of Bondy. DR

Two men, aged 17 and 27 years, have been interviewed by a judge investigating last week's shooting in which a 15-year-old was killed in the northern Paris suburb of Bondy. The brothers turned themselves in to police on Saturday. Investigators have asked for them to be detained.

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The dead teenager, identified only as Aymane (or Aymen), was shot on Friday while he was inside a community centre in Bondy. A single bullet was fired through the door letterbox of the establishment, striking him in the chest.

Investigators believe that there had been a dispute earlier on Friday between the victim and the suspected aggressors.

Local residents told French AFP news agency that the parties had been on angry terms for the past year because of a disagreement over boxing, a sport which Aymane enthusiastically practised before his club was closed because of the Covid-19 epidemic.

Witnesses allege that there was a confrontation between the victim and two individuals earlier on Friday, which ended with the arrival of Aymane's father. 

Then the youngster was shot in the chest.

"His last words to me were, 'Papa, I'm hurt,'" the father told a French TV reporter. Aymane died in his father's arms.

The two brothers said they had only intended to frighten Aymane. 

The Paris region has already seen two teenage deaths in late February, with 14-year-olds losing their lives as a result of stab wounds following separate gang fights in the Essonne department.

Urgent ministerial meeting on gang violence

The French police, justice and education ministers will on Monday hold a virtual meeting with local legal and security officials, as well as school principals, to discuss the spate of violence involving teenagers  

The meeting was convened by Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin in the wake of last month's stabbing deaths of a boy and a girl, both aged 14, following separate confrontations between rival gangs.

The interior minister has already instructed police chiefs to intensify their efforts to bring gang violence to an end.

Macron to boost mentor scheme

It has also been announced that French President Emmanuel Macron will visit another northern Paris suburb, Seine-Saint-Denis, in the course of which the head of state will detail plans to extend the number of young people being assisted by professional mentors.

The mentor scheme is part of the government's equal opportunities programme, launched in 2020, and involves a one-on-one relationship between an adult volunteer and a youngster from one of the suburban zones identified by the police as "difficult".

There are currently 25,000 mentors. The president is expected to announce his determination to see that number increase to 100,000 by the end of this year, and twice that by the end of 2022.

 

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