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Charleroi shootout: Police officer who died was a ‘remarkable, jovial and passionate professional’

17:11 19/03/2024

Special force colleagues of Jonathan, the police officer who died in a house raid in Charleroi, have described the father of two as “a remarkable, jovial and passionate professional”.

Their tribute followed the death of the 36-year-old in a special forces intervention in the Lodelinsart area of Charleroi on Monday, reports RTBF. Two other police officers were injured, one critically. The injured suspect died in hospital.

A photo of the deceased officer was released by his family, who have asked for privacy at this time. Originally from Hainaut province, Jonathan carried out special missions for the Liège division of the federal police’s special units.

The shooting occurred when a special force team of the Directorate of Special Units (DSU) carried out a house raid as part of an investigation into drug, weapons and vehicle trafficking, according to the Charleroi prosecutor’s office.

The suspect opened fire on officers from behind a closed door. They returned fire and retreated from the house to attend to the injured officers while calling for reinforcements, explained the prosecutor.

Afterwards, with officers from the reinforcement team, the injured suspect was located behind a door. He died of his injuries at hospital.

According to a medical update on Tuesday, the health of the officer critically injured remains worrying but his “vital prognosis is more reassuring than yesterday”, said the prosecutor’s office. The second injured officer sustained minor injuries and has been released from hospital.

Interior minister offers condolences

Interior minister Annelies Verlinden expressed her condolences to the families of the police officers concerned. “The police were prepared,” she told RTBF TV’s La Une on Monday evening. “There had been risk analyses for this reinforced intervention. But we must never forget that unforeseen situations like today’s horrible incident can arise.”

The minister intended to “convince her colleagues” and the future government that it must continue to invest in security.

“We are already investing an additional €500 million in the police organisation, for example increasing salaries and additional recruitment for our teams,” she said.

Three Charleroi police officers arrested

In a separate case, three officers from the Charleroi police zone were arrested on Monday, reports RTBF. "They were arrested for violation of professional secrecy, unlawful consultation of databases, embezzlement by official and criminal association," confirmed the Charleroi public prosecutor's office.

Suspected of transmitting confidential information from police databases to criminals, possible links between the two cases are being investigated, according to local media.

Photo: provided by the family of Jonathan


Written by The Bulletin