A policeman killed during the attack on the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo was named by French police as Ahmed Merabet, a 42 year-old Muslim man.
One of two policemen killed during the attack, police officials said, Merabet was a patrolman assigned to the 11th arrondissement, where the publication’s offices are located, The Independent reported Thursday.
Merabet was patrolling the area at the time of the attack, and in chilling amateur video footage could be seen laying wounded on the pavement outside the magazine’s offices, as the attackers approached him and shot him at close range.
Fleeing the offices, the gunmen ran past the officer who had his hands up in surrender, and shot in his direction again before entering their getaway car.
Merabet is survived by his wife.
Franck Brinsolaro, 49, the second policeman killed, was reportedly the police bodyguard of the paper’s editor Stephane Charbonnier, widely known by his pen name Charb, who was killed along with four other cartoonists in the attack.
— Harry Shotton (@HarryShotton) January 8, 2015
I am not Charlie, I am Ahmed the dead cop. Charlie ridiculed my faith and culture and I died defending his right to do so. #JesuisAhmed
— Dyab Abou Jahjah (@Aboujahjah) January 8, 2015
On Wednesday, masked gunmen stormed the Paris offices of the Charlie Hebdo weekly, which had caricatured the Prophet Muhammad, methodically killing 12 people, including the editor, before escaping in a car. It was France’s deadliest postwar terrorist attack.
Shouting “Allahu akbar!” as they fired, the men also spoke flawless, unaccented French in the military-style noon-time attack on the weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo, located near Paris’ Bastille monument. The publication’s depictions of Islam have drawn condemnation and threats before — it was firebombed in 2011 — although it also satirized other religions and political figures.
Cherif and Said Kouachi, the two brothers suspected to be the gunmen, were spotted Thursday morning in northern France, sources close to the manhunt said.
The manager of a gas station near Villers-Cotteret in the northern Aisne region “recognized the two men suspected of having participated in the attack against Charlie Hebdo,” the source said.
Police had issued arrest warrants for Cherif Kouachi, 32, a known jihadist convicted in 2008 for involvement in a network sending fighters to Iraq, and his 34-year-old brother Said. Both were born in Paris.
The two men were likely to be “armed and dangerous,” authorities warned.
Also on Thursday, a policewoman was killed and a city employee was seriously hurt after a man opened fire with an automatic rifle outside Paris, police said. No link was initially established with Wednesday’s deadly attack, though prosecutors were treating it as a terror incident.
The gunman was still on the run, said Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, who arrived at the scene at Malakoff, just south of the French capital.
AP and AFP contributed to this report.