Two people severely injured in a knife attack outside the former Paris office of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo are staff at production company Premieres Lignes, which made HBO documentary “Three Days of Terror: The Charlie Hebdo Attacks.”
Variety has confirmed with Premieres Lignes co-director Paul Moreira that two of the company’s producers were involved in the attack. The pair is believed to have been standing outside the premises during a cigarette break when a man wielding an axe attacked them, and then fled into a subway. Staff in the building were then evacuated. The producers’ injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.
Premieres Lignes in 2015 produced the film “Three Days of Terror” with “Leaving Neverland” helmer Dan Reed. The film aired on HBO, the BBC and France 2, and was nominated for two 2017 News & Documentary Emmy Awards, including outstanding investigative documentary and research. The company’s offices are believed to be in close proximity to the former Charlie Hebdo offices.
Moreira addressed the afternoon’s events in a tweet on Friday evening. “We have just had a very hard day. Attack in front of the premises of @PLTVfilms, two wounded comrades. But [they are] no longer in danger. Thanks for all the messages of support.”
Police have arrested what they believe to be a primary suspect in the incident. The individual was detained near the Bastille plaza in east Paris. A second arrest has also been made. Prosecutor Jean-François Ricard said the two victims were not known to the main suspect, according to France 24.
Meanwhile, authorities believe a terrorist motive is at play, and France has opened a terrorism probe into the attack.
The neighborhood around the office was placed in lockdown on Thursday, around midday, while police conducted a manhunt. AP reporters witnessed police “flooding” the east Paris neighborhood. Officials cordoned off the area after a package was noticed close by, though the parcel was later deemed to be non-threatening.
The Charlie Hebdo trial is currently underway in Paris. Fourteen people accused of helping the two attackers — Islamist extremists who killed 12 people in and around the Charlie Hebdo offices in January 2015 — are standing trial.
Following the attacks, the magazine moved offices to a secret location in south Paris in late 2015. The publication marked the start of the trial by reprinting controversial cartoons featuring the Prophet Muhammad.
Elsa Keslassy contributed to this report.