A white march organized for Philippe, 22, killed during an “ambush” in Grande-Synthe

More than a thousand people gathered on the morning of Friday April 19 in Grande-Synthe (North) to pay tribute to Philippe, a 22-year-old young man who was violently attacked in the middle of the night, in what could be a lookout

A white march organized for Philippe, 22, killed during an “ambush” in Grande-Synthe

More than a thousand people gathered on the morning of Friday April 19 in Grande-Synthe (North) to pay tribute to Philippe, a 22-year-old young man who was violently attacked in the middle of the night, in what could be a lookout. apens prepared on a dating site, according to the first elements of the investigation.

“Tribute to Philippe”, can we read on a large banner at the head of the procession – in the presence of the victim’s two brothers, Dylan and Kelvyn – which set off at 11 a.m. from the young man’s former high school . Several people, many of them wearing white outfits, have photos of the victim in their hands.

Philippe was “a great friend, kind, attentive, he was there for everyone,” says Valentine, 26, a childhood friend, in the crowd. “We were in the same jiu-jitsu club. I met him last year, and it was a crush; he was friendly, smiling… It’s a shock for everyone,” says Louna, 42 years old.

Two minors aged 14 and 15 were arrested shortly after the events, which took place during the night of Monday to Tuesday. They were still in police custody Thursday evening and must be “presented to an investigating judge” on Friday, Dunkirk public prosecutor Charlotte Huet said in a press release. “One of them recognized” the organization of an “ambush” against the young man through a free dating site, a police source told Agence France-Presse on Thursday. (AFP).

The site in question, coco.gg, allows you to initiate discussions by entering a nickname, age, gender and postal code without verification or creating an account.

An investigation into “organized gang murder” was opened by the prosecution, entrusted to the judicial police. The prosecutor is due to give a press conference in Dunkirk at 5 p.m. on Friday.

An act of “barbarism”

Alerted by the firefighters around 2 a.m. on Tuesday, the police discovered the young man lying in a parking lot behind a hypermarket, with fractures and wounds to his face, a police source explained on Wednesday.

The white march passed in silence in front of the scene of the attack, where dozens of flowers were placed, under a few drops of rain.

According to a witness, he was attacked by three individuals while he was on a telephone conversation. They stole his cell phone before fleeing, this source reported. Hospitalized in intensive care, he died Tuesday evening as a result of his injuries.

“We are talking about a man who was (…) truly and clearly tortured, who was on the ground and who was beaten to death,” the Prime Minister commented on Thursday evening on BFM-TV, referring to an act of “ barbarity ". Gabriel Attal sent “a thought for this man, for his family, for his colleagues”.

According to the young man's brother, he was "coming home from a friend's house, 100 meters from the house" when he was attacked. Described as "friendly, pleasant" and "without problems", Philippe had worked as a facilitator in the city's leisure centers "on small summer contracts" and had also been a canteen supervisor, Benoit told AFP Ferré, the chief of staff of the mayor of Grande-Synthe. “He was supposed to start working at Amazon soon,” he added.

“We are in shock today. Let us not give in to fear or the spirit of revenge,” the socialist mayor of Grande-Synthe, Martial Beyaert, wrote on Facebook, calling on participants in the march to march with “respect” and “dignity.”