Lyon shooting: Man admits attacking priest over affair, say prosecutors

Police arrest suspect two days after victim emerges from coma in hospital 

Peter Stubley
Sunday 08 November 2020 20:48
Priest seriously injured in Lyon shooting
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The priest who was shot in France last week had been having an affair with the prime suspect's wife, according to prosecutors.

Nicolas Kakavelakis, 52, was blasted twice in the stomach with a sawn-off shotgun as he closed the Greek Orthodox church in Lyon on 31 October.

He was left seriously injured and was not able to speak to investigators until he emerged from a coma on Wednesday.

It was initially feared the attack could be terror-related as it happened a few days after three people were stabbed to death at a church in Nice.

However investigators have now ruled out that motive after arresting a 40-year-old man on suspicion of attempted murder.

"He turns out to be the husband of a woman who was having an affair with the victim," said the public prosecutor Nicolas Jacquet in a statement.

The suspected gunman made a "full confession" after being detained on Friday, Mr Jacquet added.

He is a Georgian father-of-two who lived near the church, according to Le Parisien newspaper. His wife, said to be a 35-year-old Russian, was also arrested.

The prosecutor said the investigation "will continue to establish the motive and the exact course of the facts".

Mr Kakavelakis had served as a priest in the church in the 7th arrondissement of Lyon for 10 years but submitted his resignation last month.

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