#JeSuisAhmed Honors Ahmed Merabet, A "Charlie Hebdo" Victim & A Muslim
Not long after French citizens took to the streets with "Je Suis Charlie" placards on Wednesday night, a new slogan surfaced on social media. Alongside the #JeSuisCharlie hashtag, French citizens tweeted #JeSuisAhmed — a tribute to Charlie Hebdo victim Ahmed Merabet, a police officer who was viciously killed in the attack on the satirical weekly. According to The Independent, Merabet is believed to be Muslim, adding another layer to the shooting thought to be a revenge attack on a newspaper that frequently mocked Islamic fundamentalists and the Prophet Muhammad.
A police officer in the 11th arrondissement in Paris, Merabet was reportedly patrolling the neighborhood on foot on Wednesday when he encountered the gunmen outside the Charlie Hebdo office. According to video footage captured by witnesses and released by international news outlets, Merabet was killed by the gunmen at point-blank range while pleading for his life. A Paris police spokesman who confirmed Merabet's identity called his death "an assassination." He is believed to be one of the last victims in Wednesday's brutal attack.
Previous media reports incorrectly reported Merabet's age as 42. The police officer was 40 years old, according to French officials. NBC News reports Merabet may have Tunisian roots, but those reports cannot be confirmed.
French news outlet Le Figaro reports Merabet is survived by his wife, according to Rocco Contento, department secretary of the SGP Police Unit union. "He leaves behind a wife," Contento said. "We're all extremely shocked."
Image: Getty Images