(WB) A gunman who opened fire on the Champs-Élysées in Paris on Thursday killed a gay police officer and wounded two others.
The New York Times reported Xavier Jugelé was among the three police officers the gunman shot at around 9 p.m. local time. The gunman was killed as he tried to flee the area.
Mickaël Bucheron, president of Flag!, a French association of LGBT police officers, told the New York Times that Jugelé joined his group a “few years ago.” Bucheron said he was among the Flag! members who participated in protests against Russia’s law banning the promotion of so-called gay propaganda to minors that took place during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
The New York Times also reported Jugelé was among the police officers who responded to the Bataclan concert hall in Paris’ 10th arrondissement on Nov. 13, 2015, after three gunmen stormed it.
The gunmen killed 89 people inside the concert hall that is near Le Marais, an area in which a number of gay bars and clubs are located. The so-called Islamic State claimed responsibility for the siege and several other attacks in Paris on the same day that left more than 100 people dead.
“He was a simple man who loved his job,” Bucheron told the New York Times on Friday. “He was really committed to the LGBT cause.”
Inter-LGBT, a French LGBT advocacy group that is based in Paris, on Friday offered its condolences to Jugelé’s family and those of the police officers who were wounded. It also expressed support to FLAG! “who has lost one of their friends.”
Flag! on its Twitter page posted a picture of Jugelé and a short message that read, “Never forget Xavier.”
French President François Hollande also extended his condolences to Jugelé’s family.
“My thoughts go out to the family of the fallen policeman and the relatives of those who were wounded,” wrote Hollande on his Twitter page. “A national tribute will be given.”
Trump: Attack will ‘probably help’ Le Pen in French election
ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack, which took place three days before the first round of the French presidential election.
Marine Le Pen of the far-right National Front party has campaigned on an anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, anti-European Union and populist platform. President Trump on Friday told the Associated Press the Paris attack will “probably help” Le Pen in the French election.
— Michael K. Lavers, Washington Blade courtesy of the National LGBTQ Media Association.