THE hero cop who shot dead the Paris knifeman had been on the job just four days.
Michel Harpon, a police civilian worker, killed four colleagues at a police station near Notre Dame in a bloody rampage yesterday.
The deaf 45-year-old had been a member of staff since 2003 and reportedly “heard voices” the night before the attack.
Martinique born Harpon stabbed four people, including a female police officer, to death and seriously injured another woman before fleeing into a courtyard.
The rookie policeman shouted three times for Harpon to stop before fatally shooting the knifeman.
A witness told Le Parisien:”The policeman who was taking a break on duty called out three times but the assailant did not stop.
“He fired two shots and I saw the man fall.”
He was armed with a ceramic knife which could not be picked up by metal detectors used by the building’s security, according to sources quoted by one local website.
The ceramic blade is a weapon of choice for jihadi attackers as it can evade detection, but is also often used in non-terror related crimes for the same reason.
Soon after he was killed cops raided his flat and arrested his wife, Iham, who told them he “heard voices” the night before the bloodbath.
“She says that her husband woke up suddenly the night before and said he had heard voices,” said a source close to the case.
“He was incoherent, and suffered a dementia attack, but went to work at the Prefecture anyway.”
The couple were both registered as profoundly deaf, and have two children aged nine and three.
Iham is now communicating with officers through sign language, making her interview “very complicated,” said the source.
Investigators have not ruled out a possible terrorist motivation for the slaughter, which caused the worst loss of French police lives in a single day since World War II.
Harpon had converted to Islam 18 months ago, and his wife is also a Muslim who comes from an Arab background.
The source said: “An investigation has been launched into a grudge the assailant may have held against his colleagues, but terrorism cannot be ruled out.
“Many of those involved in similar attacks on the police have been Muslim converts influenced by radical terrorist groups.”
‘MOMENT OF MADNESS’
However, yesterday police union leader Jean-Marc Bailleul said the attack wasn’t terror, telling BFM TV Harpon had suffered a “moment of madness”.
Colleagues described Harpon as a previously trusted employee who had full security clearance to work in the Prefecture’s IT department.
The security crisis led to President Emmanuel Macron visiting the building in person, along with his Prime Minister, Edouard Philippe, and Interior Minister Christophe Castaner.
Serious concerns have been expressed this year about the psychological frailty of police staff in France.
A brigadier who shot himself in the head with his own service pistol in front of shocked colleagues has become the 50th French police officer to kill themself last month.
The 45-year-old, who has not been named, died in the police station at Louvroil, close to the Belgium border on September 19.
President Emmanuel Macron had acknowledged that police officers have come under increasingly pressure because of growing security threats.
These include weekly demonstrations by the anti-government Gilets Jaunes – or Yellow Vests – movement, which frequently deteriorate into riots.