Lt Col Arnaud Beltrame was the French Gendarme (policeman) who offered to trade himself for a female hostage in Friday’s terrorist assault in Trebes, France. He knew going into the situaton that he may not come out alive, since the Islamist had already killed three people. Sometimes heroes deliberately sacrifice themselves so that others may end a critical situation.
As we previously reported, a terrorist named Redouane Lakdim killed 3 and wounded at least 12 more on Friday in a standoff with hostages at a supermarket in Trebes. After killing a customer and a store worker, he took hostages. Lt Col Beltrame got the suspect to allow a female hostage to leave in exchange for his presence in the situation.
As he did so, he left his cell phone open on the counter so that his compatriots could monitor what was happening. When gunshots rang out, a French SWAT team stormed the building and killed Lakdim. But by then Beltrame had been mortally wounded – both shot and stabbed. He ultimately succumbed to his wounds.
Hero- The French police officer
According to the BBC:
Col Beltrame was a highly-regarded member of the Gendarmerie Nationale and was described by France’s president on Saturday as someone who “fought until the end and never gave up”.
He graduated in 1999 from France’s leading military academy in Saint Cyr and in 2003 became one of just a handful of candidates chosen to join the gendarmerie’s elite security response group GSIGN.
He was deployed to Iraq in 2005 and was later awarded the Cross for Military Valour for his peacekeeping work. On his return to France, Col Beltrame joined the country’s Republican Guard and was tasked with protecting the presidential palace.
In 2017, he was named deputy chief of the Gendarmerie Nationale in the French region of Aude, home to the medieval town of Carcassonne, where Lakdim began his deadly shooting spree on Friday.
As recently as December, Col Beltrame took part in a simulated terror attack on a local supermarket in the region.
His actions allowed the standoff to come to an end. He was a hero in every sense of the word.