France lauds policeman who swapped with hostage
- 24 March 2018
adapted from BBC
Tributes are pouring in for a French police officer who died saving the lives of hostages in a supermarket siege by an Islamist gunman on Friday.
Lt-Col Arnaud Beltrame, 44, was shot and stabbed after he traded places with one of the captives following a shooting spree in southern France.
Flags are being flown at half-mast at gendarmerie bases across France.
His brother Cedric said Col Beltrame “didn’t have a chance”, adding that his actions were “beyond the call of duty”.
“He gave his life for strangers. He must have known that he didn’t really have a chance. If that doesn’t make him a hero, I don’t know what would,” Col Beltrame’s brother Cedric told a French radio station on Saturday.
Speaking to the BBC, Col Beltrame’s cousin Florence Nicolic described the officer as a person who was “so good at his job”.