Former Liverpool player Anthony Le Tallec has given a harrowing account of the attack on Annecy’s playground today after being caught up in the rampage which saw four children stabbed.
Witnessing the rampage earlier, Le Tallec, 38, recounted how he had to yell at police to pull the knife as he watched an elderly man being stabbed before officers opened fire.
The former journeyman footballer filmed the horrific scenes as a Syrian refugee went on a rampage stabbing children in the French Alps. He then gave his account on Instagram.
Le Tallec, who also played for local team FC Annecy, said he realized something was wrong while jogging around the crystal clear waters of Lake Annecy in foot of the Alps and a wave of panicked passers-by rushed in the opposite direction.
As the group tried to flee the frantic onslaught, Le Tallec said a mother yelled at him to turn and run.
Former Liverpool player Anthony Le Tallec, 38, told Instagram how he had to yell at the police to pull the knife as he watched an elderly man being stabbed
Identified as Abdalmash H (pictured), the attacker was heard shouting ‘in the name of Jesus Christ’ as he clung to a necklace which allegedly had a crucifix on it
Police arrest attacker after stabbing four children and injuring two adults in stabbing attack in park in Annecy, France
“There is someone stabbing everyone along the lake. He stabbed children,’ Le Tallec quoted the woman as shouting, as he gave a video account of what he saw.
Le Tallec said he “was so surprised” that he continued jogging in Annecy’s city park.
“Then suddenly the guy appeared in front of me,” Le Tallec recalled. “Then I saw the police who were ten meters behind him but they hadn’t managed to catch him yet. He was so close to me that I moved away.
“I see he’s heading straight for a group of old men and women. He attacks a grandfather, stabs him once, the cops can’t catch him, so I tell the cops, “kill him,” Le Tallec continued.
“Then they started shooting, they shot the person right in front of me and he fell to the ground.”
The former Red added: “After continuing on my way, I saw in front of the lake, children on the ground – so sad. But the police, the slowness, that’s what I noticed, the slowness was unbelievable, the slowness in triggering something (shooting). The guy had time to stab the dad twice.
‘He spoke English. At first, we all thought it was staged, but with people’s screams, we realized it was real.
A national police spokesman said the suspected attacker in Thursday’s attack was a 31-year-old Syrian asylum seeker who was carrying Swedish identity documents and a Swedish driver’s license.
Anthony Le Tallec played for Liverpool between 2001 and 2008. He then played for local club FC Annecy. He is pictured in a Liverpool kit playing in Mark Tyler’s testimonial against Peterborough United in 2007
Footage taken minutes after the stabbing shows the attacker being chased by residents through the park. Parents can be heard in the background crying out for help for their injured children
Horrifying footage shows a 31-year-old Syrian refugee repeatedly stabbing a toddler in his pram in front of his screaming mother in an attack at a French playground that saw four children stabbed
The video shows the attacker running into the small playground and repeatedly stabbing a toddler in his pram as his screaming mother tries to shield him from the attack
Identified as Abdalmash H, the assailant was heard shouting “in the name of Jesus Christ” as he held a necklace that allegedly bore a crucifix before lashing out.
Chilling video of the attack shows the attacker jumping a low wall fence at a children’s playground and repeatedly lunging at a child’s stroller, fending off a woman who tried to push him away.
The children who were injured in the attack ranged in age from 22 months to three years.
The Parc du Paquier where the attack took place is popular with locals and tourists who travel to Annecy in the summer to boat on the turquoise waters of the lake and hike in the nearby forested mountains.
At least one of the injured children was in a stroller, according to eyewitnesses. A person who saw the attack, who was named Ferdinand, told BFM TV: “(He) walked towards the strollers, repeatedly hitting the little ones with a knife.”
Police officers work inside a cordoned off area following a knife attack in Annecy earlier today
Footage shows officers pinning the suspect to the ground after a gunshot was heard
Dominique Griziaux said he was at nearby “Pop Beach” when the wail of sirens filled the air. The attack had left him sick inside.
“You put yourself in the shoes of the parents and grandparents who lived through this tragedy,” said Griziaux, a resident of Annecy, adding that an attack on such young children was “simply unthinkable”.
“You would never have thought that this would be possible in such a peaceful and bucolic environment as Annecy.