Tributes were today being paid to heroic Muslim police officer Ahmed Merabet, who was executed by a terrorist gunman on the streets of Paris while he begged for his life.
Shocking footage of the attack on the Charlie Hebdo office shows Mr Merabet on the ground and begging for mercy as he is killed casually by a gunshot to the head. Witnesses say he asked ‘do you want to kill me?’ before the gunman replied ‘OK, chief’.
It is understood that Mr Merabet was a married Parisian cycle cop assigned to the 11th arrondissement – the Paris neighbourhood where Charlie Hebdo’s office is located and known for its dining and fine wines.
As the French magazine vowed to publish next week in defiance of the massacre, one French mourner wrote: ‘Ahmed Merabet died protecting the innocent from hate. I salute him.’
Mr Merabet was one of 12 people killed in the terrifying attack, including eight journalists at the offices of the French satirical newspaper, two guests, and one other policeman.
His family have said they wish to bury him at a famous Muslim cemetery in France. Located just north-east of Paris, it is the burial ground of more than 7,000 Muslims.
Mr Merabet, originally from Livry-Gargan in north eastern Paris, had been a fully-trained police officer for eight years. Today his police union colleagues released a statement, stating they were in shock after seeing him ‘shot down like a dog’.
The union’s departmental secretary, Rocco Contento, said he was a very quiet and conscientious man. He added: ‘We are all extremely shocked. The police are deeply affected by the video of the murder of their colleague circulating on some networks.’
Tributes continued to flood in today for Mr Merabet, who was gunned down in the line of duty. One wrote: ‘RIP Ahmed Merabet, French policeman, murdered protecting people in Paris’, while Alan Mendoza said: ‘Important to note that amid the carnage today a brave Muslim policeman was murdered by those claiming to represent Islam.’
The second police officer to be killed in the attack was Franck Brinsolaro, 49, a brigadier and protection officer for the magazine’s editor Stephane Charbonnier.
The married 49-year-old lived in Bernay, France, and was the father of two children. His wife, Ingrid Brinsolaro, is editor of the Awakening Normand, Bernay, a newspaper that belongs to the group Publihebdos, as Hebdo de Sevre et Maine. The team at Publihebdos have released a statement regarding the killing.