On this rainy morning, few people in the streets of this working-class district to the west of Colmar, classified as Republican Reconquest since 2021. A few pavilions, many buildings and at the foot of one of them, rue de Berlin, a bakery, close to the scene of the tragedy.
In front of the store, neighbors placed six large photos of Quayyeem Ahmadzai, candles and a few bouquets of flowers.
Three young Afghans watch over the portrait in silence. Among them, Tarakhin Sardarwali, 21, presents himself as “very close” to the victim. He was not present during the tragedy, “I arrived 10, 15 minutes later…”, he confides, visibly affected.
– “Justice” –
Tarakhin Sardarwali is surprised that four days later, “the police (have) still not found the shooter, it’s shocking (…) He is still free! We want them to arrest him!”.
“We want justice”, insists the young man from the province of Logar, in eastern Afghanistan, and arrived in France in 2017.
According to a source close to the investigation, the alleged shooter and his potential accomplices were still at large on Wednesday morning.
According to the Colmar prosecutor, Catherine Sorita-Minard, the facts took place during an altercation between two groups.
Bothered by the noise of a scooter, the victim, surrounded by friends, asked the driver to move away. The latter then insulted him, before returning “with several individuals”.
A fight broke out between the two groups and, “while some of the protagonists dispersed, a shot was fired by an individual, according to the witnesses heard within the framework of the investigation, in the direction of the victim”, said the magistrate.
Hit in the chest, Quayyeem Ahmadzai, 27, died of his injuries in hospital overnight from Sunday to Monday.
“I’ve never seen that”, testifies Djabri, a 66-year-old retiree, Colmarien “for 46 years” and resident of the Europe district “for 16 years”. This Sunday, he said he heard several explosions, “two or three. I thought they were young people having fun” with firecrackers…”
“And then I saw a young man who was running, who had gone mad”, obviously the alleged shooter, “I think he was sorry (…) Two friends of his were following him and then they started running” for flee, explains this witness.
“Since then, it seems that people have become calm,” continues Djabri. The effect may be the presence of the CRS 8, a mobile unit specially created to intervene quickly throughout the territory. Dispatched by the Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin after the tragedy, she has multiplied the checks since Tuesday.
– “Unlivable” –
“They should be there all year round, not a week, it becomes unlivable”, assures Djabri, referring in particular to the “rodeos” of scooters according to him incessant in certain streets of the district.
Initially mentioned as a possible trigger for this deadly brawl, the hypothesis of an “urban rodeo” was questioned on Tuesday during a press briefing by the LR mayor of Colmar, Eric Straumann (LR), “not entirely convinced” that this assassination is linked to this “phenomenon” and rather evoking a “dispute between” the shooter and Quayyeem.
The latter worked at the Stellantis vehicle assembly plant in Mulhouse (Haut-Rhin), Ronald Laventin, CFDT union official on this site, told AFP.
According to him, many Syrian and Afghan refugees are joining the ranks of temporary workers at the Mulhouse site, “due to lack of interest in these jobs among young people here”.
Quayyeem “was interim and had been recruited at the beginning of the summer, with the last contingent”, according to Mr. Laventin. On Tuesday, “he did not show up for his post when the company resumed business. We obviously deplore this death”.
“He had just come for the weekend to see relatives” in Colmar, still laments Tarakhin. According to him, Quayyeem’s wife, who remained in Afghanistan with their children, “has been in the hospital” since she learned of her husband’s death.
Now, “we must send his body to Afghanistan as soon as possible” for the funeral.