1 December 2023

In Saint-Jean-de-Luz, students lay bouquets of flowers in front of the gates of the Saint-Thomas-d'Aquin high school, Thursday, February 23, 2023.

The public prosecutor of Bayonne, Jérôme Bourrier, announced, Thursday, February 23, the forthcoming opening of a judicial investigation for assassination, thus validating the element of premeditation mentioned by the prosecution as soon as an investigation was opened. in the case of the murder of a teacher in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, Wednesday.

The 16-year-old student was taken into police custody on Wednesday after stabbing to death a Spanish teacher, Agnès Lassalle. According to the conclusions of an initial psychiatric assessment carried out during the minor’s police custody, which is still ongoing, the latter presents “anxious personality traits” can “disturb his discernment”.

However, the expert did not find “as it stands, no mental illness such as schizophrenia, manic state, melancholy or mental retardation, nor any acute psychiatric decompensation” but “Elements of adolescent depression evolving over a year”underlined Mr. Bourrier.

The suspect is like this “accessible to criminal liability” and the prosecution will ask for his “pretrial detention”, announced the public prosecutor of Bayonne during a press conference on Thursday. The prosecutor added that it would open on Friday “a judicial investigation under the qualification of premeditated murder”.

A “small voice” inciting “to do evil”

Mr. Bourrier returned to the facts which took place around 9:45 a.m. in a classroom at Lycée Saint-Thomas-d’Aquin during a Spanish lesson. The suspect would have stood up in the middle of class, “seized a roll of paper towel”then “approached the classroom door which he locked”. He then walked over to his teacher and pulled out “a kitchen knife with an eighteen centimeter blade”, with which he struck the teacher in the chest. The gesture, according to witnesses present on the spot, was “fast, fluid and without hesitation”describes the prosecutor.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers In Saint-Jean-de-Luz, the investigation continues into the motivations of the student who killed his teacher

The respondent, who would have remained standing as a result of the facts, “as flabbergasted”, was picked up by other faculty members in an adjoining room. “I ruined my life, it’s all over”reportedly said the teenager, who “would have reported someone taking possession of his body”, reveals Jérôme Bourrier. According to the first conclusions of the autopsy, a single violent blow, ” fatal “, was carried to the teacher, who could not be saved by the emergency services.

“During police custody, the respondent reported a small voice speaking to him, continues the prosecutor. A being he describes as selfish, manipulative, egocentric, who incites him to do evil and who would have suggested to him, the day before, to commit an assassination. »

“He also reported acts of harassment of which he would have been the victim in his previous establishment and which would have affected him a lot. (…). He had made a drug suicide attempt in October 2022. and had since been prescribed antidepressants, he said.

“Form of animosity”

According to the first elements of the investigation, the suspect would also have been affected by an argument the day before with a comrade. He also admitted a “form of animosity towards his Spanish teacher”. Mr. Bourrier nevertheless notes that the student was not known for acts of violence either by the legal services or by his educational team.


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The teenager was a “very good student” in the opinion of his comrades, and had obtained his patent with honors “very good” last year, according to the rectorate of Bordeaux.

A minute of silence was observed Thursday in colleges and high schools in France. Education Minister Pap Ndiaye, who came to Saint-Jean-de-Luz on Wednesday, paid tribute to the 52-year-old teacher at Combe de Savoie College in Albertville, Savoie, where he is in shift.

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