Europe

Police officer killed in Paris was on duty at Bataclan

  • This undated image provided on Friday, April 21, 2017, by FLAG, an association of LGBT police officers, shows French police officer Xavier Jugele. The policeman killed on Paris' most famous boulevard was identified as Xavier Jugele by Flag! Its president, Mickael Bucheron, told AP the dead officer would have celebrated his 38th birthday at the beginning of May. (FLAG via AP)

    This undated image provided on Friday, April 21, 2017, by FLAG, an association of LGBT police officers, shows French police officer Xavier Jugele. The policeman killed on Paris' most famous boulevard was identified as Xavier Jugele by Flag! Its president, Mickael Bucheron, told AP the dead officer would have celebrated his 38th birthday at the beginning of May. (FLAG via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • A woman places flower at the place where a police officer was killed Thursday on the Champs Elysees boulevard, Friday, April 21, 2017 in Paris. The Champs-Elysees gunman who shot and killed a police officer just days before France's presidential election was detained in February for threatening police but then freed, two officials told The Associated Press on Friday. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

    A woman places flower at the place where a police officer was killed Thursday on the Champs Elysees boulevard, Friday, April 21, 2017 in Paris. The Champs-Elysees gunman who shot and killed a police officer just days before France's presidential election was detained in February for threatening police but then freed, two officials told The Associated Press on Friday. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)  (The Associated Press)

  • A gendarme patrols in the Montmartre district Friday, April 21, 2017 in Paris. The shooting at the Champs Elysees rattled France only two days before the end of an unusually suspenseful election contest. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)

    A gendarme patrols in the Montmartre district Friday, April 21, 2017 in Paris. The shooting at the Champs Elysees rattled France only two days before the end of an unusually suspenseful election contest. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)  (The Associated Press)

The Paris police officer who was shot to death while at work on the French capital's most famous boulevard had seen firsthand the horror that could be carried out in the name of the Islamic State group.

Xavier Jugele was one of the officers who raced to the Bataclan concert hall the night three armed men in suicide bombs stormed a show and slaughtered 90 people on Nov. 13, 2015.

In the latest attack, Jugele was the only person killed when an assailant opened fire with an assault rifle on a police van parked on the Champs-Elysees. The Islamic State group quickly claimed responsibility, and authorities say the gunman had a note defending IS with him.

Paris police declined to give details about Jugele's career and life, saying his family had asked for privacy. Mickael Bucheron, president of a French association of LGBT police officers, told The Associated Press Jugele would have celebrated his 38th birthday at the beginning of May.

"He was a very simple man, with a big heart. A real nice guy," Flag! Vice President Alain Parmentier told The Associated Press in a phone interview. "And he really loved his job."

Jugele was in the van's driver's seat when he was shot dead. Two other officers were wounded. The attacker was shot and killed by officers at the scene.

Laurent, a police colleague and friend of Jugele's who also was deployed to the Bataclan attack, said Jugele was in a civil union and that his partner has a child. Laurent asked not to be identified by his last name because he does not represent the Paris police officially.

Both officers returned to the concert venue a year later when it reopened with a concert by Sting. Jugele told People magazine at the time how happy he was to be "here to defend our civic values."

"It's symbolic. We're here tonight as witnesses. This concert's to celebrate life. To say no to terrorists," he said.

Jugele had worked in the Paris area as a police officer since 2011. At the time of his death, he was a member of the Paris police department's public order and traffic division.

"It was one of his final missions, he was about to join another service," Parmentier said.

Jugele had received praised from his bosses earlier this year for his courage during the evacuation of a building ravaged by an accidental blast in the western Paris suburb of Boulogne-Billancourt.

Laurent said Jugele had also served in Greece for Frontex, the agency in charge of border control of Europe's 26-nation Schengen Area.

French president Francois Hollande said a national tribute will be paid to Jugele, "who was cowardly assassinated."

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Associated Press writer John Leicester contributed to this report.