French Police Probe Personal Dispute in Lyon Priest Shooting

French Police Probe Personal Dispute in Lyon Priest Shooting

Police officers and rescue workers blocked access to the scene of a shooting in Lyon on Saturday.


Laurent Cipriani/Associated Press

PARIS—French authorities are investigating whether the shooting of a Greek Orthodox priest in Lyon on Saturday stemmed from a personal dispute, officials said.

The shooting rattled the nation, coming days after three people were killed at a basilica in Nice on the French Riviera in a suspected terrorist attack.

The priest was seriously wounded and taken to a local hospital, French police officials said. Police have detained a man but haven’t determined if he was the shooter, one official said. Authorities locked down the area in central Lyon on Saturday afternoon and warned the public to stay away.

Investigators are examining whether a long-running conflict between the priest and a former Greek Orthodox monk in Lyon could be behind the shooting, officials said.

France has been on high-alert following an appeal by a group affiliated with al Qaeda for Muslims to wage “individual jihad” against France. The terrorist group cited churches as a possible target, according to an interior ministry memo to police.

On Thursday, a Tunisian man who entered France in October used a knife to kill three people—nearly decapitating one of them—at the Notre Dame Basilica in Nice.

Write to Matthew Dalton at and Noemie Bisserbe at

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