Ziyed Ben Belgacem, the man shot dead at Orly airport in Paris after attempting to seize a soldier's gun before taking her hostage on Saturday (18 March), was not motivated by terrorist sympathies, his father said on Sunday. He wrested away her powerful military-grade assault rifle and wanted to use it to shoot people at the busy Paris airport.
Shortly after at 8:22 am (0722 GMT), according to prosecutor Molins, he walked onto the departures floor of Orly airport's south terminal where he grabbed a female officer on patrol with two male colleagues.
Police sources told French media that the airport shooting may have been linked to a separate incident in the Paris suburb of Stains.
The father of the French man shot dead at Orly airport in Paris after attacking a soldier said Sunday his son was "not a terrorist" and that his actions were caused by drink and drugs.
"Given the violence that is shown in the [CCTV] pictures... you sense that he was determined to go through with it", Mr Molins said.
Molins said that Ben Belgacem carried a can of petrol into the terminal building, which he flung down before engaging in a violent altercation with the air force patrol staff.
Police were questioning the man's father and brother, Thibault-Lecuivre said.
The Journal du Dimanche said that the suspect, a 39-year-old French citizen, was known for robbery and drug trafficking.
Officers found several grams of cocaine in his apartment, and he was a regular at an Italian-Cuban bar in the south of Paris, which was known for its rowdy nights, a local resident said.
Intelligence agents searched his home in Garges-les-Gonesse, north of Paris, for evidence of Islamist sympathies, but reportedly found nothing.
"With a pistol in his right hand and a bag over his shoulder, he grabbed (the soldier) with his left arm, made her move backward by three to four meters (yards), positioning her as a shield, and pointed his revolver at her forehead", Molins said.
Responding to the attack, French President Francois Hollande reaffirmed on Saturday the state's determination to "fight terrorism, defend the security of our compatriots and to ensure the protection of the territory".
Saturday's train of events began at Stains, near Le Bourget airport in northern Paris, where the man fled in a auto after he shot and wounded a police officer at a road check.
Prosecutors are investigating a number of terrorism-related offences, including attempted murder.
"In any case people are going to die", the attacker told the troops in Molins's account of the attack.
He said he had received a phone call from Belgacem after his initial attack in which he said: "Dad, please forgive me".
"Our government is overwhelmed, stunned, paralysed like a rabbit in the headlights", she told an election rally.
"The soldiers were trying to reason with him", he said, adding that as he fled the scene he heard two shots.
Prince William, second-in-line to the British throne, and his wife Kate, who finished a two-day visit to Paris on Saturday stuck to their plans despite the attack.
The shooting came after a similar incident last month at the Louvre Museum in which an Egyptian man attacked soldiers guarding the site and was shot and wounded.