The terrorist attack happened on Bastille Day fireworks celebration in Nice, the southern city of French, rose on Friday to 84 dead and 202 injured which resulted a national state of emergency and absorbed the shock of a third major terrorist attack in 19 months.
No organized group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet, although online accounts associated with the Islamic State and Al Qaeda have cheered it.
Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, a 31-years-old father of three children, fired a handgun at three police officers who attempted to stop him toward the end of his rampage—but then managed to drive forward another 1,000 feet before he was finally killed by police.
“We will not give in to the terrorist threat,” Prime Minister Manuel Valls said Friday morning after a cabinet meeting led by President François Hollande. But Mr. Valls also offered a grim observation for his countrymen: “The times have changed, and France is going to have to live with terrorism.”
Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel had a history of petty crime, including theft, going back to 2010, and he received a six-month suspended sentence in March for assaulting a driver during an altercation in January. Bouhlel rented the truck near Nice on Monday, according to the security officials and an official at the Via Location rental outlet.
On Thursday, the truck entered the famed Promenade des Anglais that lines Nice’s curved shoreline at the level of the Magnan tunnel. A police officer guarding one of the barricades along the promenade said the truck drove toward a crowd-control barrier slowly before suddenly accelerating into it.
Bouhlel careered for about a mile along the palm tree-lined avenue, killing pedestrians who had enjoyed a firework show over the bay, until he was killed by police in front of the Palais de la Méditerranée hotel.