Among the victims of Wednesday’s Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris were French police officers Ahmed Merabet and Franck Brinsolaro, authorities revealed Thursday. Merabet, a 42-year-old cycle cop assigned to the city’s 11th arrondissement, was gunned down in the street by one of the shooters, suspected to be brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi and 18-year-old Hamyd Mourad. Brinsolaro, 49, was the police bodyguard of Charlie Hebdo editor Stéphane Charbonnier and was killed in the editorial room along with the journalists and cartoonists.
The attack sparked a massive manhunt across Paris for the shooters involved in the slaughter at Charlie Hebdo. French authorities on Thursday discovered two militant flags and a dozen Molotov cocktails in the gunmen’s abandoned getaway vehicle, according to the Agence France-Presse. "This shows their Islamist radicalization and that they had possibly planned other acts with the petrol bombs," a source told the AFP. One of the gunmen, Mourad, surrendered to the authorities at a police station outside of Paris.
Authorities honored the two police officers killed in the attack Thursday. “They knew the risks they were facing in carrying out their duty and clearly showed great bravery in trying to prevent the terrorists murdering others,” Association of Chief Police Officers Vice President Sir Peter Fahy said during a ceremony in Manchester, U.K., to recognize the two officers, according to The Guardian. “We stand in solidarity and express our great sympathy for their families and friends.”
Merabet was on patrol in the neighborhood where Charlie Hebdo’s headquarters were located when he was shot by one of the gunmen, who was on his way out of the building. Merabet, who was Muslim, was married. Video footage of the attack on Merabet, which has since been removed from the Internet, showed the masked gunman shoot Merabet at close range in the head while the cop appeared to be begging for his life.
— Ali Kamran Chishti (@akchishti) January 8, 2015
Brinsolaro lived in Bernay, was married and had two children, according to the Daily Mail. He was an officer assigned to the newspaper. His wife, Ingrid Brinsolaro, was editor of a newspaper in Bernay called the Awakening Normand.
The shooters, believed to Islamic extremists, stormed the headquarters of Charlie Hebdo, a French satirical newspaper, whose cartoons had often poked fun at the Prophet Muhammad. The attack left 12 people dead, including the two police officers and several members of the newspaper’s staff.
The publication had repeatedly received threats online from supposed jihadis, claiming that the newspaper would pay for its ridiculing depictions of the prophet, according to Reuters.