Last Updated Aug 14, 2017 6:07 PM EDT
SEPT-SORTS, France — An 8-year-old girl was killed and at least eight people were injured when a driver slammed his car into the sidewalk cafe of a pizza restaurant in a small town east of Paris, authorities said Monday.
France’s Interior Ministry says the man who drove his car into a pizzeria was apparently suicidal. The driver was immediately arrested. Police said the man’s actions in the town of Sept-Sorts were deliberate, but not thought to be terrorism-related.
The 13-year-old girl and her brother were among the restaurant patrons eating on the outdoor terrace of Pizzeria Cesena when a man in a BMW accelerated toward them, an official with the national gendarme service told The Associated Press.
The girl died immediately, while the boy’s injuries are considered life-threatening, the official said. At least three others were hospitalized in serious condition, and eight more sustained light injuries, said the official, who was not authorized to be publicly named.
The incident reignited fears in France after a string of attacks in which a vehicle was the weapon of choice.
The man arrested in Monday’s attack is thought to have tried to kill himself last week, French Interior Ministry Pierre-Henry Brandet said on BFM television. Brandet said the man, born in 1985, was not known to intelligence or police. He did not identify him.
Two police officials said the incident is considered over and authorities are not searching for accomplices, but to find out what motivated the driver.
A judicial official said Monday night that the Paris prosecutor’s office, which oversees French terrorism investigations, was not involved in the case because there was no proof of terrorism at this stage. A security official echoed that there was no evidence of a political or Islamic extremist motive.
The targeted pizzeria is in a shopping zone in the town of Sept-Sorts about 65 kilometers, nearly 40 miles, east of Paris near Champagne country. Police cordoned off a large perimeter of the area.
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