The police officer killed in the Islamic State-claimed attack in Paris on Thursday was a gay rights activist who also helped aid refugees in Greece.
Thursday’s terrorist attack in Champs-Élysées, a section of Paris, claimed the life of 37-year-old police officer Xavier Jugelé, who was a proud gay man and gay rights activist, The New York Times reports.
A gunman named Karim Cheurfi opened fire Thursday and killed Jugelé, also wounding two other police officers in the process. Cheurfi tried to run, but was shot dead. Almost immediately, the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack.
Mickaël Bucheron, president of Flag, an organization of LGBT police officers, told The New York Times that Jugelé was a committed gay activist and member of the group.
“He was a simple man who loved his job, and he was really committed to the L.G.B.T. cause,” Bucheron said. “He joined the association a few years ago, and he protested with us when there was the homosexual propaganda ban at the Sochi Olympic Games.”
Not only was Jugelé a dedicated LGBT activist, but he also spent some time in Greece assisting police officers who were handling migrants looking for refugee status and shelter in the European Union.
This was not Jugelé’s first encounter with terror. He was a first responder during the 2015 terror attack at the Bataclan music hall, which left 130 dead. He celebrated the reopening of Bataclan a year later.
“I’m happy to be here,” Jugelé told People magazine in November 2016. “Glad the Bataclan is reopening, It’s symbolic. We’re here tonight as witnesses. Here to defend our civic values. This concert’s to celebrate life. To say no to terrorists.”
Jugelé was in a civil union with another man, but did not have any children.