Police were called in to deal with young thieves threatening to set fire to a baker's shop unless they emptied the till; as is increasingly becoming the case, the scene quickly transformed into a violent ambush, with the thugs' rain of molotov cocktails answered by volleys of tear gas.
The final score: no arrests, four police officers injured.
Translated from the Paris city paper, Le Parisien:
The clashes began around 4:00 pm, according to a judicial source, as a dozen youths were ganging up on a bakery in the reportedly sensible neighborhood of Grande-Borne, in Grigny. They were threatening to set fire to the shop and were demanding money out of the till.
Four police officers were wounded. Three of the police were lightly wounded in the face and legs by the spray of projectiles, a judicial source explained.
A fourth [police officer] was hit by a blast of lead fired by an individual armed with a pump-action shotgun. He was struck on the thigh and had to be transported to the Evry hospital, according to the same source. The firefighters said that the injury was not serious.
When the police arrived, the young rampagers took flight before being joined by over twenty other individuals. Two of them brought out shotguns and fired in the direction of the police. According to [the Alliance police union], the weapons were not loaded with real bullets, but with lead. Several other youths were in possession of brass knuckles, but weren’t able to make use of them, said the Alliance union. Projectiles and Molotov cocktails were thrown at the police. A car was burned. The neighborhood was beefed up by numerous reinforcements, among them CRS [riot police] and Mobile Gendarmerie officers. Calm returned around 5:30 pm, according to police, who made no arrests. Several patrols kept watch over the neighborhood through the night.
The account of the story being carried in the British press adds the gruesome detail that the french thugs were firing shotguns filled with buckshot and nails.
There was no mention of that detail, that I could find, in French media reports on the ambush. Is there an error in the english translation, or have the French press decided that this is news not fit to print..?
A local resident captured some, sadly, routine images of the back-and-forth fighting on a cel phone camera; the shaky but nonetheless clear footage can be viewed here, at another account in Le Parisien.