The police officer who pleaded for the Charlie Hebdo attackers to spare his life whole lying wounded on the ground has been identified as a Muslim.
Ahmed Merabet, also being identified as Ahmed Merabe in some outlets, was seen on the ground outside the magazine’s officers in Paris on Wednesday.
After the attackers killed 11 people and wounded about a dozen more, they rushed outside. It appears that they shot Merabet on the way in but that he initially survived.
As the masked gunmen moved toward their getaway vehicle, one paused, standing above Merabet as the officer raised his hand, trying to save his own life.
But the gunman finished off the Muslim officer, shooting him in the head.
The prosecutor of Paris confirmed Marabet’s identity with Le Monde. He was 42 years old, and a police officer from the station on 11th arrondissement.
Users on Reddit note that Marebet was asked by the gunmen whether he was trying to kill them. He said “Non, c’est bon chef,” which translates roughly to “No, I’m good chief.” But the gunmen killed him anyway.
“The use of the word ‘Chef’ is more a way of saying ‘Yeah, you’re in the position of power now,’ but in a friendly way (I think he was trying to make himself seem more human, so that they would spare him); a bit like saying ‘Nah, I’m good, mate.’ It’s slang with a similar meaning to ‘Dude,'” one French user explained.
Terrorism experts said that the action of finishing off the police officer, along with other indicators such as their movement, showed that the gunmen were trained Islamist commandos.
“I was struck not only by their cold-blooded calm but also the professional way that they made their getaway, taking the time to finish off a wounded policeman,” Jean-Louis Bruguiere, a former top anti-terrorism investigative magistrate, told Reuters.
Among the others killed in the attack was Franck Brinsolaro, who was in charge of the security for Charlie Hebdo’s editor Charb.