Afghan asylum-seeker suspected in deadly France knife attack was in 'psychotic state,' prosecutor says

An Afghan man suspected in a knife attack that killed a 19-year-old and injured eight other people at a metro station in France on Saturday was on drugs and in a “psychotic state,” according to a prosecutor.

The unnamed 33-year-old suspect, reportedly an asylum-seeker, was experiencing “paranoid delirium” and said he “heard voices” telling him to kill, regional prosecutor Nicolas Jacquet said Monday.

The suspect also made incoherent statements and gave the police three different birthdays, Jacquet said.

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The stabbings on Saturday unfolded in the town of Villeurbanne, near Lyon, at the Laurent-Bonnevay metro station, around 4:30 p.m. Two of the eight injured remained in the hospital as of Monday.

The Laurent-Bonnevay public transit station in the town of Villeurbanne, near Lyon, France. (Google Maps)

The Laurent-Bonnevay public transit station in the town of Villeurbanne, near Lyon, France. (Google Maps)

The suspect was first known to be in France in 2009 and held a temporary residency card, Jacquet said. He was living in a center for asylum-seekers and had traveled to Britain, Germany, Italy and Norway before coming back to France in 2017.

Jacquet said the suspect has no reported terrorist ties and was not on any watch lists. Fox News learned the man was not previously known to police.

“Nothing was found showing any kind of radicalization,” the prosecutor said.

Members of the public helped restrain the suspect until police arrived on Saturday, and Jacquet applauded them.

“Their courageous, responsible intervention was decisive,” he said.

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Police initially searched for two suspects, but it was later determined that the 33-year-old man from Afghanistan was the main suspect and police looked for possible accomplices, they said.

Villeurbanne Mayor Jean-Paul Bret said the detained suspect was the only person thought to have used the knife in the attack, The Associated Press reported.

"I am extremely shocked by the attack that has just occurred in the Lyon area during which one person died and several others [were] injured, some seriously," Lyon Mayor Gerard Collomb tweeted.

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Fox News’ Robert Gearty and The Associated Press contributed to this report.