A 17-year-old student identified as Kylian Barbey opened fire today at the Alexis de Tocqueville High School in the French city of Grasse. So far, eight people, including the headmaster of the school, have been reported injured. Barbey has been arrested and is in custody.
Grasse has been called the “world capital of perfume” due to the large fragrance industry presence there since the Renaissance. It is located 30 miles west of Nice, the scene of the 2016 Bastille Day terrorist attack that left scores dead.
According to the Daily Mail, Barbey, showed up at school with a hunting rifle, two revolvers, and two “training” grenades. Herve Pizzinat, the head of the school, attempted to intervene and was shot in the arm for his efforts.
Two students — identified as “Julie” aged 16, and “Akram” aged 17 — were hit by “ricocheting bullets”. The wounds do not appear to be serious, and no fatalities were reported. According to France24, five others were injured in the “stampede” that occurred after Barbey opened fire.
French Education Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem described the shooting as the “crazy act of a fragile young man [who was] fascinated by weapons”.
Barbey is apparently the son of French politician Franck Barbey, who is being described in the media as “hard-right” and anti-European Union, although he is supporting mainstream candidate François Fillion in the upcoming French election.
France and other European nations are often presented as exemplars by gun control advocates in the United States. Guns are not banned in France, although there are severe restrictions on ownership that would never pass muster under the American Bill of Rights. TTAG presented a general review of French gun control laws back in 2012.