NBC News is backpedaling after reporting that one suspect had been killed and two others had been arrested in the horrific ‘Charlie Hebdo’ attack on Jan. 7. Now, ‘The New York Times’ and other sites are reporting that one suspect has surrendered and two are still at large.
An earlier report by NBC News on Jan. 7 appears to have been wrong. NBC previously reported that police had killed one of the three suspects, who have been identified as French nationals Said Kouachi, 34, and Cherif Kouachi, 32, and Hamyd Mourad, 18.
Paris Attack: 1 Suspect Surrendered, 2 On The Run
NBC Nightly News originally reported that senior U.S. officials had confirmed the death and the arrests but NBC News’ Pete Williams released a statement later on Jan. 7, saying:
“Earlier Wednesday, two senior U.S. counterterrorism officials told NBC News that one of the suspects in the attack had been killed and that two others were in custody. However, the officials later said the information that was the basis of that account could not be confirmed.”
Early on the morning of Jan. 8, a spokesperson for the Paris prosecutor said that suspect Hamyd Mourad had turned himself in to a police station in Charleville-Mézières, about 145 miles outside Paris, according to The New York Times.
“He introduced himself and was put in custody,” said spokeswoman Agnès Thibault-Lecuivre.
An NBC News spokesperson tells HollywoodLife.com in a statement:
“NBC News issued an earlier report based on intelligence from two consistently reliable U.S. counterterrorism officials in different government agencies. As soon as it became evident that our sources doubted their information, we immediately updated our reporting across all platforms and continue to do so as this fast-moving story unfolds.”
Paris Shooting: 100,000 People Gather To Support 12 Victims Killed In Attack
Meanwhile, French President Francois Hollande gave an emotional speech on French TV late on the night of Jan. 7, calling the attack an act of “exceptional barbarism,” according to our sister site Variety.
As HollywoodLife.com previously reported, suspected Islamic militants attacked the Paris office of satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo, killing cartoonists Georges Wolinski, Jean Cabut, aka Cabu, Stephane Charbonnier, who is also editor-in-chief, and Bernard Verlhac, also known as Tignous. The magazine’s deputy chief editor Bernard Maris was also killed, as well as two Parisian police officers.
Four of the eight injured victims are reportedly still in critical condition.
Later on Jan. 7, thousands of people across France came together in Republique Square to hold a heartbreaking vigil for those killed in the attacks. Many protesters carried signs that read “Je suis Charlie,” which means “I am Charlie,” according to the UK’s Daily Mail, while others held up pens to signify freedom of speech.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families during this difficult time.
— Tierney McAfee