May 7, 2002
79-year-old Hendrik Vyt shoots his downstairs neighbors to death, wounds 2 of their 5 children, sets fire to his own apartment, and is killed during a standoff
Vyt was reportedly outspoken regarding his racist views, particularly those of Middle Eastern descent. Vyt was also known to be a neighborhood bully, intimidating neighbors with his German Shepherd, beating one of his young neighbors so severely the victim lost an eye, and insulting or threatening immigrants which caused many to move from the area.
Shortly before the murders, Vyt was allegedly upset Jean-Marie Le Pen — a conservative politician who focused primarily on traditional values, unemployment, and immigration — had recently lost the French presidential election.
Following a new argument, Vyt shot and killed Ahmed Isiyasni and Abiba El Hajji (pictured), and wounded 2 of their 5 children, one critically. He also injured a neighbor who attempted to help the victims. Vyt then retreated to his apartment which he set on fire.
Police and firefighters arrived shortly after, with the firefighters attempting to extinguish the flames while police entered into a shootout with Vyt. During this exchange of bullets, two more neighbors were shot, though both survived. One neighbor used a ladder to help the children of the deceased victims escape; all escaped without further injury.
According to the French newspaper Le Parisien, Vyt was injured by police during the standoff but was killed by the fire he started.