Former Liverpool and Sunderland striker Anthony Le Tallec has described the moment a man started attacking young children in a playground in the French Alps on Thursday.
The former footballer, who now coaches in Annecy, claims he shouted at police to shoot the man, allegedly a Syrian refugee, as he ran towards him after attacking children and adults in the park.
Translated to English, Mr Le Tallec said in a series of posts on his Instagram story: “I was running by the lake and suddenly I saw dozens of people running in the opposite direction.
“I wondered what was going on.
“A mum said run, run, there’s someone stabbing everyone along the lake. He’s stabbed children. Run, run.
“I was a little surprised, so I continue. Sure enough, I see the guy coming towards me on the grass.
“I could see police officers, five or 10 metres behind him, who couldn’t catch him. He came towards me, so I moved aside and I saw him heading towards elderly people.
“And he attacked the elderly man, stabbed him once and the police were behind him and couldn’t catch him.
“I told the police shoot him, kill him, he’s stabbing everyone.
“So he attacked once, twice, and they started shooting.”
The Frenchman, 38, continued to explain how the attacker was shot in front of him in the park.
He said: “They shot him in front of me and he fell to the ground but the elderly man had already been hit.
“I continued along the lake and saw the kids on the floor. They had been hit. It’s very sad.
“I noticed how slow the police were to react – he had time to stab the elderly man twice.
“It’s sad to see this. It’s crazy to see this in Annecy.”
It has been confirmed four children, one 22-month-old, two two-year-olds and one three-year-old, and two adults were injured in the attack, with one of the children a British tourist.
A father, whose children were at the park on a school trip at the time of the attack, has described how his children will no longer have a “quiet state of mind”.
Translated from French, he said: “We’re in a total panic. We spent two hours without any news, now I know my children are safe.
“All of our lives have been turned upside down because for years we’ve been walking alongside the lake, we made it but now we’re thinking back, now there’s a before and an after.
“The fear in our stomachs, my children will not be living in a quiet state of mind anymore. It happened in front of my children, it was a school trip, it’s chaos.”
One woman, Eleanor Vincent, who has been in the town for the last five days on holiday, was at the scene as police began to cordon off the park.
She told Sky News: “The police were there very quickly, the area was cordoned off.
“I did not see the crime scene thank heavens, but I did see the aftermath because I stayed in the area for about 45 minutes just trying to take in what had happened and to take some photos to be able to document what was going on.”