Thomas, 16, lost his life while being rushed to a hospital in Lyon during the night from Saturday to Sunday. The teenager was fatally stabbed in Crépol (Drôme) during a “winter ball” during which a “brawl”, in the words of Laurent de Caigny, Valence prosecutor, broke out. Here is what we know about the gendarmes’ investigation which led to the arrest of seven people “around Toulouse” in a hotel this Tuesday, suspected of having shown up armed at this party, leaving one dead and eight injured. including two young people aged 28 and 23 hospitalized in a state of absolute emergency.
What investigators learned from that evening
At least ten individuals showed up, without having registered beforehand, for this event organized by the Crépol festival committee. This is where an incident apparently occurred between one of these people and one of the four security agents hired for this evening, the entry price of which was 4 euros. It then “degenerated into violence with knives, the security guard being injured, and the dozen individuals who arrived at night then formed a hostile group”, according to the proceedings of the public prosecutor Laurent de Caigny.
Inside, the “registered” guests hear the commotion and come “to support the security guards”. A “brawl” broke out and the confrontation continued outside the village hall.
Marie-Laure Pezant, spokesperson for the gendarmerie, refused this Tuesday morning to use the term “brawl” to describe the facts. According to her, this term defines “two groups of young people who have decided to make an appointment and to confront each other, here, we are not in that configuration”.
What the witnesses saw
The organizer of the party, who came to pick up her teenage son on the evening of the incident, told Le Parisien that she came across a scene of horror: “I see an injured person on a chair who is being given a cardiac massage (…) I then go in the kitchen and this time, it’s Thomas who is on the floor and who we are trying to save (…) I kept calling the firefighters because the more time passed, the more new injuries we discovered. »
The mother continues: “In the toilet, another had been stabbed in the back. I had the impression of waiting a long time for the police. Everyone took refuge in the room because we didn’t know if the attackers were still waiting for us outside. There was blood everywhere. Everywhere. »
Another witness describes in fact “a bloodbath”. According to his account, “young people from the city surrounded the village hall and blindsided people. The bouncer had his fingers cut off.”
Maybe not a “turf war”
This Tuesday afternoon, Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin announced to the National Assembly the arrest of seven people in a hotel “near Toulouse”. The individuals fled a few hours after the brawl. According to our information, they were identified in particular based on documents forgotten on site, in particular a bus card. Investigators have reportedly identified the perpetrator of the fatal blow. The investigation is heading more towards a ball that goes wrong rather than a “descent” with the aim of getting to the bottom of it.
The first rumors suggested that the individuals who burst into the winter ball came from one and the same district, that of La Monnaie, a town in Romans-sur-Isère, about twenty kilometers away. But nothing is less certain, tempers the public prosecutor of Valencia.
VIDEO. “They blindsided people”: what we know about the violence that killed Thomas, 16, in Drôme
“The precision of the unfolding of the facts should make it possible to better understand the motive of this brawl, in the course of which a minor who was only going to the ball in his town was killed. In view of these advances, it is however false to assert that the hostile group would be made up of individuals all from the same city and the same neighborhood, explains Laurent de Caigny. The links which may exist between the possible suspects and those being identified do not seem to be based on such territorial logic. » “At this stage we must remain cautious about the origin of the attackers,” adds a source close to the investigation for our newspaper.
This Tuesday morning on franceinfo, the gendarmerie spokesperson called on the attackers to come forward: “It would be more reasonable for the perpetrators to come forward, because it won’t be long before we come and get them.” According to the representative, “we must expect rapid progress and probable arrests”.
Hundreds of auditions to reconstruct the evening
To reconstruct the course of the tragic events of Saturday evening, the gendarmes are in charge of an investigation into “homicide and attempts by an organized gang”. They need to hear from the more than 450 people present at the evening.
Fifty of these hearings had already been carried out as of Monday afternoon. Investigators also rely on the memories of the guests to identify the perpetrators of the “brawl”. “Concurring elements are collected which target possible suspects and identification techniques are used to present photographic parade boards to witnesses,” explains the prosecutor. Objective: identify unique “dresses”, “distinctive signs” and “behaviors”.
The gendarmes must also recover and analyze video surveillance images, cameras from businesses in the village, as well as data linked to telephone relays in the municipality. It will be a matter of breaking down the course of the evening minute by minute.
This news article has been translated from the original language to English by WorldsNewsNow.com.
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