EDIT of May 24 at 7 a.m.: We have added new elements such as the minute of silence which will be respected this Wednesday in all hospitals in France in tribute to the victim.
The announcement of his death came at first light: Carène Thibaut-Mezino, 38, succumbed to his injuries during the night. This nurse, mother of two children, was stabbed Monday, shortly before 1:30 p.m., while she was changing in the locker room. She was preparing to take up her service in the “medicine and health” unit of the CHU de Reims, where she had worked for ten years. A medical secretary was also seriously injured. The suspect, a 59-year-old man, was taken into custody on Monday evening. The investigation, opened for “assassination” and “attempted assassination”, was entrusted to the central police station in Reims.
Questioned three times during questions in the National Assembly on Tuesday, the Minister of Health, François Braun, who had gone to the Reims University Hospital on Monday evening, promised to bring together trade unions and representatives of health professionals on Thursday morning to “Let’s see right away if there are possible solutions to improve this security”. “But a hospital is by definition a structure that is open, that welcomes sick people. It is very difficult to protect it 200% “, he had warned a little earlier.
A report on the safety of health professionals must be submitted to the government on June 1, indicated Tuesday evening on France Info the Minister Delegate, Agnès Firmin Le Bodo. It will provide “responses to this issue”, she underlined. A minute of silence will be observed at noon this Wednesday in all hospitals in France in tribute to the victim.
“Abused in psychiatry”
According to the first elements of the investigation, Franck F., 59, “seems to have acted without apparent motive, especially since he did not have an appointment in this service”, indicated Matthieu Bourrette, the prosecutor of the Republic of Reims. While the investigations are only at their beginnings, it is the profile of a man with a heavy psychiatric past that is gradually taking shape.
Arrested a few minutes after the tragedy as he tried to flee, he reportedly declared – in the midst of incoherent remarks – “resenting the hospital environment”. According to the intervention report of the police officers who arrested him and that 20 minutes was able to consult, the madman indicated that he wanted “revenge” after having been “abused in psychiatry”, specifying that “every time he comes across a white coat, he will plant it”. He admitted to having stabbed “nurses three or four times”.
Already known for a knife attack
The prosecutor confirmed in a press release that the man “seems to be suffering from severe disorders and has been the subject of a reinforced curatorship for several years”. It is because of these psychiatric disorders that the suspect was the subject, in June 2022, of a dismissal for “criminal irresponsibility” in a case of “aggravated violence” strangely similar. According to our information, in June 2017, the man attacked with a knife four people, including supervisory and medical staff, in a reception and integration establishment for people with disabilities south of Châlons-en-Champagne. (Marl). One of them had been seriously injured.
The case was not closed for all that: the investigating chamber of the Reims Court of Appeal was to “very soon” look into the file, “to rule on the security measures likely to be taken” , said the public prosecutor. The suspect’s custody continues.