A national tribute, in the presence of the Prime Minister, Gabriel Attal, was paid, Wednesday May 22, in Caen, to the two prison guards killed on May 14 in Incarville (Eure) in the attack on their van by a heavily armed commando.

“Three minutes is how long this attack lasted, three minutes and yet an eternity,” recalled Gabriel Attal, facing the two coffins, that of Fabrice Moello, 52, and that of Arnaud Garcia, 34 years, each covered with a tricolor flag. “Arnaud Garcia and Fabrice Moello are not getting back up. They do not get up, carried away by the murderous madness,” he added.

“Their death will not go unpunished, the investigation is progressing, it will continue as long as necessary, but it will be successful,” declared the Prime Minister, who had previously spoken with the families of the victims.

Mr. Attal announced that prison captain Fabrice Moello, twenty-nine years of service, and brigadier supervisor Arnaud Garcia, fifteen years of seniority, will be promoted, and placed the insignia of knight of the Legion of Honor on the coffins. This distinction was granted to them by decree of the President of the Republic on May 21, and published Tuesday morning in the Official Journal.

Bringing together some three hundred people, including Brigitte Macron, elected officials and the Defender of Rights, Claire Hédon, the ceremony was held in the courtyard of the former Caen remand prison, where the two victims had worked, empty of its detainees since December. The coffins of the two agents then left the courtyard of the former penitentiary center, followed by the relatives of the deceased.

Commando still on the run

Initially announced, Emmanuel Macron, who canceled his visit to Caen to go to New Caledonia, met the families the day before at the Elysée. “Today, the nation bows with respect and honors their memory, accompanying their family and their comrades with its gratitude and its moved thoughts,” Emmanuel Macron wrote on X shortly before the ceremony, estimating that the two men “ went ahead with their mission, despite the risks, because they had decided to serve justice.”

The two agents were killed on May 14 in an ambush on a van at the Incarville tollgate, which seriously injured three other agents and allowed the escape of a repeat offender, Mohamed Amra. The latter, for whom Interpol has issued an international search “red notice”, as well as the heavily armed commando who carried out this attack are still on the run.

The fatal attack, the first since 1992 according to the chancellery, led to a blockade of prisons for several days. The movement of prison staff was lifted after the conclusion of an agreement with the ministry relating to the security of transfer missions, with the trivialization of a large part of prison vehicles (long-standing request by the unions), the improvement of weaponry and protective equipment (generalization of the wearing of pistols on the thigh) and strengthening of escorts.

The funerals of the two agents are to be held on Wednesday afternoon for Fabrice Moello, and Saturday morning for Arnaud Garcia.