“I walked past on my way to work at 7am. There was blood everywhere, everywhere… It was a crime scene. It was really violent.”
Séverine, 48, still can’t believe it. She lives near the Papon elementary school, located at 6 bis of the street of the same name, in the Port Lympia district of Nice.
Tuesday, January 10, like every morning, Séverine walks along the school to join the tram. “All of a sudden I see traces of blood on the floor. I look up. I see a bloody handprint. Then others on the walls, the barriers… I thought they had made a Halloween decor. It was awful!”
Séverine hasn’t taken three steps when someone has already set up plots in front of the school. The facade of the school is smeared with blood, and the students must arrive there an hour later.
Make way for the forensic identification police, then the road teams. But for the purposes of the investigation, the traces are still visible when the families arrive. They access the school via an entrance, located fifteen meters further.
“I thought they tagged the school”
This Wednesday, January 11 in the morning, the traces are almost all erased. A painter locates the place in order to purge the facade of its last stigmata. Passers-by stop, wonder. Like this mum from another school, intrigued: “I hope they will find them…”
The rumor that a corpse had been discovered ran through the alleys of the port. The information broadcast on Tuesday evening came to sweep it away. “Apparently it happened around 2-3 am. A man was injured. I hope the victim is well…”Severine breathes.
The news is reassuring. But the impact is there. Including for Séverine’s children, aged 10 and 12, who saw the reddened facade. “They asked a policeman if it was real blood… He told them ‘yes’.”
No school this Wednesday. A day of respite for the families of the Papon school. But neighboring traders remain flabbergasted. “I thought they had tagged the school. It was really shocking”confides Catherine, the owner of the Mémé Poulette restaurant.
“We live in a weird world…confides Cédric Sabouraud, manager of the Smile to life beauty institute. This kind of scene on a school facade is special … Adults were also shocked.
“There’s blood all over the street!”
So what about minors? Marie-Amélie, 17, was alerted by her brother who had just taken his dog out. “He told us: ‘there’s blood all over the street!’ I wasn’t very well. I had a panic attack.”
A hundred meters further, the “crime scene” feeds the conversations of students at the Saint-Joseph private institute. “Everyone thought there had been a death, or a settling of accounts. And that in front of a school… It was a little scary”testify Lévy-Kim and Margot, 15 years old, students in second.
Camille, Ilhan and Alan, 13 each, have since learned that “The victim was in intensive care. But it scared us…”
The judicial support group of the departmental security is seized of an investigation for violence with a weapon. The victim was allegedly attacked with a knife by two individuals. She was admitted to the Pasteur hospital, injured in the forearms. His injuries appear more spectacular than serious.
But sufficient to arouse a wave of emotion in the family port district. “It’s a quiet neighborhood. There is no violence here”wonders Séverine. “It’s stressful to see that, in the middle of the city.” A fortiori at the gates of an elementary school.