Colleagues of Francisco Díaz Jiménez embrace during yesterday's funeral service. :: SALVADOR SALAS
National Police officer Francisco Díaz Jiménez, 33, was stabbed to death on Wednesday evening when he was about to make a routine arrest.
German national Stefan Reinert, 36, of no fixed abode, was to be detained after reports that he had been causing trouble in the neighbourhood around Calle Frigiliana, where he was squatting in abandoned business premises.
His file at the police station described him as “quite dangerous” and advised “caution”.
According to investigations, when the homeless man was approached by the officer he produced a knife - of the type used for cutting ham - and stabbed him in the chest “without saying a word”. Paco, as the victim was known among his colleagues, was wearing no protective clothing.
He died later in hospital despite attempts to save his life. It was seven o’clock in the evening.
The victim’s colleague took out his firearm and shouted, “Stop police.”
A witness described how it looked like the suspect was going to raise his hands “but he ran off towards the greengrocer’s”.
The officer opened fire five times, hitting Stefan R. in the torso. The other bullets went in the direction of Calle Gaucín with one of them grazing the face of a woman, 30, who was coming out of a shop.
Another bullet apparently bounced off a wall and hit Francisco, son-in-law to the owners of a local butcher’s in the shoulder. Local shopkeeper, Antonio Padilla, had been talking to him at the time. He described how first they heard the shots and then a shadow coming towards them. “I saw the bullet,” said Antonio. “He [Francisco] started to ask me, ‘What is it? What is it?’ and I saw that he was bleeding.
Meanwhile police officers were trying to save the life of their colleague Paco at the scene. One took his shirt off to cover the wound, while another carried out resuscitation techniques. The ambulance arrived six minutes later.
When he was taken away “the other two officers burst into tears and one of them threw his cap on the floor,” said one witness.
Paco arrived at Carlos Haya in a critical condition. Despite attempts to save him, he died at around 9pm.
He had been in the National Police force for eight years and was married with a four-year-old daughter.
The injured suspect was taken to the Hospital Civil where he was treated for stab wounds and a bullet wound in the torso, none of them serious. He was later transferred to Carlos Haya hospital, where Francisco from the butcher’s was also treated for the wound to his shoulder which only affected muscle tissue.
The woman whose face was grazed was treated at the Clínico hospital and later released.
Stefan Reinert was considered as a dangerous delinquent by police, having been arrested on 22 previous occasions for violent acts or possession of illegal weapons.
In March he thumped a Local Police officer, knocking him off his motorcycle. The officer had been called to intervene in a dispute between two homeless men.