French authorities identified a suspected gunman apprehended Wednesday after a manhunt in Paris as a man with a shadowy criminal history who is linked to a notorious deadly shootout almost 20 years ago.
Abdelhakim Dekhar allegedly threatened a Paris TV station on Friday with a gun and, on Monday, shot a photographer at a left-of-center newspaper and later fired shots in a suburban business square, setting off a massive manhunt.
Police followed a tip and found Dekhar, who they say fit the suspect’s description, in a car in an underground parking lot Wednesday evening, BBC reports. Police official Christophe Crepin said he was “not very lucid” at the time and believed to be under the influence of medicinal drugs.
Dekhar was sentenced to four years in jail in 1998 for his support role in what has become known as the Rey-Maupin affair. Four years earlier, a young couple with links to anarchist groups — Audry Maupin, 22, and his 19-year-old girlfriend Florence Rey — attempted to steal weapons from police guards and then led police on a car chase through Paris, killing three officers and a taxi driver. Maupin was fatally shot in the chase, and Rey was released from prison in 2009.
During his trial, Dekhar claimed he had been recruited by the Algerian secret service to infiltrate the French far-left. He was sentenced to 4 years in prison and released soon after on time served.